ASX up 0.39% near noon: Australian employment decreases in March




Australian employment decreased by 7000 in March, resulting in a rise in unemployment to 3.8% from February's 3.7%, contrary to analysts' expectations of a 10,000 increase and a stable unemployment rate at 3.9%. This shift in the labor market, significant for the Reserve Bank of Australia's inflation management efforts, may impact its decision on potential rate cuts, especially with a focus on maintaining low unemployment rates. Following an atypical surge in February and a return to normal employment patterns in March, the Australian Bureau of Statistics noted a shift in employment flows, indicating potential volatility. Upcoming consumer price data preceding the RBA's May 7 cash rate decision will offer further insights into the economic trajectory.

The S&P/ASX 200 is currently 0.39 per cent higher at 7,635.90.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 16 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Materials, up 1.04 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Health Care, down 0.56 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN), trading 4.14 per cent higher at $5.78. It is followed by shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and BHP Group (ASX:BHP).

The worst-performing large cap is Mercury NZ (ASX:MCY), trading 6.52 per cent lower at $5.88. It is followed by shares in ResMed (ASX:RMD) and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2380.80 an ounce.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 3.06 per cent rise.

One Australian dollar is buying 64.37 US cents.


Name Peter Milios

Peter Milios is a recent graduate from the University of Technology - majoring in Finance and Accounting. Peter is currently working under equity research analyst Di Brookman for Corporate Connect Research.