Aust share market trading higher

The Australian share market is trading higher, boosted by a lift in US markets and better-than-expected domestic unemployment figures.

Australia's unemployment rate fell to 5.8 per cent in March, and the number of people with jobs rose 18,100 in the month.

Economists had expected total employment to fall by 5,000 in March, and an unemployment rate of 6.1 per cent.

"The unemployment rate at 5.8 per cent is much better than expected," Invast Securities chief market analyst Peter Esho said.

"It will probably be the most significant development on the market this morning."

He said the unemployment figures had boosted the Australian dollar and would probably help the local share market hold on to most of the gains made in earlier trading.

Early trading on the Australian share market was solid after Wall Street surged overnight on the back of US Federal Reserve minutes showing no support for an early rise in interest rates.

At 1200 AEST among the major banks, ANZ had added 24 cents to $34.10, Westpac had found 28 cents at $34.98, National Australia Bank had climbed 24.5 cents to $35.645, and Commonwealth Bank had jumped 30 cents to $77.79.

In the resources sector, global miner BHP Billiton had eased nine cents to $38.31, but Rio Tinto had gained 39 cents to $65.53, and Fortescue Metals had improved two cents to $5.56.

Broadcaster Ten Network Holdings picked up 0.75 cents to 26.75 cents after it booked a narrower first half loss of $8 million, compared to a $243 million loss 12 months ago.

KEY FACTS

* At 1202 AEST on Thursday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index had lifted 26.7 points, or 0.49 per cent, to 5,490.5 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was up 27.4 points, or 0.5 per cent, at 5,487.7 points.

* The June share price index futures contract was 19 points higher at 5,483 points, with 13,265 contracts traded.

* National turnover was 670.0 million securities worth $1.48 billion.

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.9363+0.0005+0.05%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.5598+0.0002+0.03%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.6775-0.0001-0.02%
    AUDEUR=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg