The Australian share market closed flat today, following subdued Chinese inflation data and volatile jobs numbers.
Despite record highs on the US Dow Jones and German DAX Index overnight, the All Ords closed only modestly higher while the ASX 200 Index (XJO) was down one point.
A man's shadow is cast on monitors displaying stock market prices inside a brokerage in Taipei November 10, 2011.
Financial stocks were generally weaker. The ANZ Bank (ANZ) eased by almost 3 per cent as it traded without rights to its 73c per share dividend. The National Australia Bank (NAB) announced its 1H cash profit rose by 3 per cent to $2.92 Billion. NAB will pay an interim dividend of 93c per share, up from a previous payment of 90c.
In other company news, NewsCorp (NWS) reported in the US overnight that its quarterly profit almost tripled to $2.8 Billion, boosted by one off acquisitions. NWS - which is about to split into two companies - plans to meet shareholders to encourage them to invest in its worst performing business: newspapers. NWS shares were up 2.9 per cent today to $32.47.
Caltex (CTX) reported a near 80 per cent jump in 1Q profit to $190 Million, but announced its refiner's margins are likely to be squeezed as capacity in Asia and the Middle East grows.
In economic news today, employment rose by 50,100 in April after falling by 31,200 jobs in March (previously reported as a 36,100 fall in jobs). Economists had expected a 12,000 lift in jobs in April. Full-time jobs rose by 34,500 after falling by 4,100 in March.
"Were more than 50,000 jobs created in one month? Unlikely. Just as unlikely as over 30,000 jobs being lost in the previous month. Clearly there are sampling problems as well as seasonal adjustment problems," said CommSec Chief Economist Craig James of the data.
1.8 billion shares traded today, worth $7.1 billion. 519 were up, 403 were down and 368 were unchanged.
The SFE Futures was down 2pts to 5192 at 5pm AEST.
Wholesale sales and weekly jobless claims data are issued in the US tonight.
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