Australia’s unemployment at 5.2 per cent; most Asian markets up
City Index January 19, 2012 10:30 AM
<p>Asian stocks were higher with the exception of markets in Australia after a worse than expected jobs report. The regional MSCI Asia Pacific index was […]</p>
Asian stocks were higher with the exception of markets in Australia after a worse than expected jobs report.
The regional MSCI Asia Pacific index was 1% higher at noon in Tokyo. The Hang Seng was 1.1% higher and Nikkei 225 1.4% higher towards the end of the trading sessions.
Australia’s S&P/ASX200 fell only slightly but was up almost 1% early in the morning. The market turned negative after a read into Australia employment showed a larger than expected fall in employment numbers.
The unemployment rate printed at 5.2% compared to market expectations of 5.3% but this was largely driven by a fall in the participation rate from 65.5% to 65.2%. Composition is not the best.
Total employment was down a very large 29,300 compared to market expectations of 10,000 additional job gains. Full time employment firmed by 24,500 which was in line with what the market had anticipated by surprisingly, the economy shed 53,700 part time jobs – an area that has traditionally held up relatively well.
The Australian dollar fell below 1.04 US cents, last trading slightly below that level.
The Euro meanwhile continues to consolidate its recent gains against the US dollar, last trading at around 1.2861.
The US dollar remains in a very tight trading range against the Japanese Yen, last seen at 76.75.
In commodities, copper was slightly higher at US$3.74/lb, while gold last traded at US$1664.60/oz, also consolidating its recent strong run.
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