Australian shares fall as wages data boosts inflation fears – 16 November 2023 at 02:14

Australian shares fall as wages data boosts inflation fears – 16 November 2023 at 02:14

Australian shares fell slightly on Thursday, led by gold and technology shares, as wages data indicated that inflationary pressures remain high and may prompt the central bank to adopt a more expansionary policy.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.2% to 7,090.70 points by 2358 GMT, after rising for the last two sessions in a row. The main index closed 1.4% higher on Wednesday.

Australian wages rose at their highest rate on record due to a sharp increase in the minimum wage, data on Wednesday showed, raising the chances that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will review its inflation forecasts and become firmer.

Data shows that the unemployment rate has continued to rise as more people look for work.

Earlier in the day, other data showed that the country created an additional 55,000 jobs in October, exceeding Reuters’ expectations of 20,000 jobs.

In Sydney, gold stocks fell 1.1%, tracking lower bullion prices as a stronger dollar offset the US Federal Reserve’s expectations of raising interest rates.

Australian-listed Newmont shares lost 0.1 percent, while Evolution Mining and Northern Star Resources shares fell 2 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

Shares of financial companies fell by 0.2%.

ANZ Group shares were the biggest losers on the sub-index, falling by 2.9%, while Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac were in the green.

Technology stocks also fell by 0.4%. ASX-listed heavyweight Block shares fell 0.6 per cent.

Mining stocks fell 0.5%, with Rio Tinto and BHP Group losing 0.1% and 0.4% respectively.

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Real estate stocks and healthcare stocks lost 0.7% and 0.1%, respectively.

On the commercial side, Karon Energy said Thursday that it will acquire a 46% stake in oil and gas fields in the Gulf of Mexico for $720 million to diversify its business.

Galan Lithium shares rose 13.7% after the company announced it had signed a lithium chloride concentrate purchase agreement with mining company Glencore.

AMP has announced the launch of a digital bank focused on small businesses with a targeted investment of A$60 million in the 2024-25 financial year. Shares of the investment manager fell 13.6%.

In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell by 0.5% to 11,301.79 points.

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