The Australian market has completely made up for yesterday's modest falls at lunch. The All Ordinaries Index (XAO) is up by around 0.5 per cent. Today was the first time since the start of April that the XAO cracked through he psychologically important 5000.0 point mark.
Tim Wimborne / Reuters
People look at market display indicators through the window of the Australian Stock Exchange in Sydney
Monthly jobs numbers fell short of most market expectations, with 36,000 jobs lost in March. Keep in mind that February was quite the anomaly, with a revised 74,000 jobs created over the month. The unemployment rate has edged higher from 5.4 per cent to 5.6 per cent.
The country's biggest supermarket chain, Woolworths (WOW) recorded a 2.5 per cent rise in quarterly sales this morning. Supermarket sales rose by 5 per cent, BIG W posted a 3.4 per cent jump in sales while the home improvement sector has also had a healthy lift. WOW shares are up around 1.2 per cent at lunch, taking the gains for the year to 16.4 per cent.
The miners performed well yesterday however are holding back the market today. BHP Billiton (BHP) is down 0.49 per cent, while the smaller Rio Tinto (RIO) is also losing ground.
All other sectors are on the improve, with the major banks contributing most to the gains. Westpac (WBC) is up 1.55 per cent, while the other majors are at least slightly higher.
Few are surprised by today's gains however, as global markets did well overnight. Shares in the U.S. finished at fresh record highs while European markets had their best daily rise in three months and are at one-week highs. The Aussie market lost ground yesterday; however the losses were kept to a minimum thanks to data in China. Exports rose by 18 per cent in three months while imports to our largest trading partner were up 14.1 per cent over 12 months.
At midday, 805M shares have exchanged hands, worth $1.85B. 437 stocks are trading higher, 331 are lower and 301 are currently unchanged.
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