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Aust shares lower, Aussie dollar rises

The Australian share market has closed in the red thanks to Westpac trading ex-dividend

The Australian share market is lower as most sectors fall in value, while the Australian dollar has been boosted by a stronger than expected rise in job numbers.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 25.4 points, or 0.42 per cent, at 6,081.6 at 1200 AEST, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 24 points, or 0.39 per cent, at 6,184.1 points.

Westpac was a major drag on the market as it traded ex-dividend, down $1.29, or 4.3 per cent, at $28.92.

National Australia Bank was steady at $27.51, ANZ was up 0.5 per cent at $27.895 and Commonwealth Bank had gained 0.3 per cent to $70.995.

Penfolds maker Treasury Wine Estates had plunged 6.7 per cent to $16.82 after reports it is facing a supply glut in China, which raises doubts over the sustainability of its rapid growth there.

The company has released a statement saying it is comfortable with the sustainability of its operating model in China.

Coca-Cola Amatil, which distributes spirits and beer in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, was down 4.6 per cent at $8.56.

The industrials sector was the weakest performer, with Brambles down two per cent at $9.42 and toll road owner Transurban down three per cent at $11.20, after the competition watchdog flagged concerns over the company's interest in taking a majority stake in Sydney's WestConnex motorway.

Employment data for April showed a slight rise in the jobless rate to 5.6 per cent, but EasyMarkets currency analyst Jimmy Pan said there were also 22,600 jobs created, beating expectations of 20,000.

"This is positive for the Australian dollar," he said.

The local currency gained around one third of a US cent in the half hour after the release of the employment figures.


* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 25.4 points, or 0.42 per cent, at 6,081.6 points

* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 24 points, or 0.39 per cent, at 6184.1 points

* The SPI200 futures contract was down seven points, or 0.11 per cent, at 6,092 points

* National turnover was 952 million securities traded worth $1.9 billion.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 75.27 US cents, from 74.84 US cents on Wednesday

* 83.03 Japanese yen, from 82.47 yen

* 63.71 euro cents, from 63.21 euro cents

* 55.55 British pence, from 55.40 pence

* 108.93 NZ cents, from 108.75 NZ cents


The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1200 AEST was $US1,292.04 per fine ounce, from $US1,294.58 on Wednesday


* CGS 5.75 per cent May 2021, 2.2336pct, from 2.2191pct on Wednesday

* CGS 2.25pct May 2028, 2.9022pct, from 2.8836pct

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* June 2018 10-year bond futures contract was 97.085 (implying a yield of 2.915pct), from 97.105 (2.895pct) on Wednesday

* June 2018 3-year bond futures contract was 97.72 (2.28pct), from 97.735 (2.265pct)

(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEST previous local session; currency closes taken from 1700 AEST previous local session)