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The share market recouped three days of losses after September employment data met expectations and Wall Street shrugged off a flurry of risk events.

The S&P/ASX 200 climbed 55 points or 0.76 per cent to its highest level of the month. The rally broke a three-day losing streak that had stripped 48 points off the index this week.

Afterpay, Newcrest and CSL were the best of the heavyweights. Energy stocks and utilities declined.

What’s driving the market

The market breathed a sigh of relief after Wall Street successfully negotiated a taper update from the Federal Reserve, strong inflation data and the start of a new corporate reporting season. The Nasdaq Composite led with a rise of 0.73 per cent. The S&P 500 firmed 0.3 per cent. The Dow finished flat as traders favoured growth stocks over cyclicals.

US investors took in their stride news the Fed will likely start to reduce support for the economy next month or December. Growth stocks and bond proxies advanced as the US dollar and long-term interest rates declined. The falling dollar boosted commodity prices and mining stocks.

Back home, the mid-morning September jobs update came in so close to expectations the market barely blinked. The official unemployment rate ticked up a notch to 4.6 per cent from 4.5 per cent in August. Seasonally-adjusted employment declined by 138,000, also close to the consensus.

“Extended lockdowns in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory have seen employment and hours worked both drop back below their pre-pandemic levels,” Bjorn Davis, head of labour statistics at the ABS, said.

“In September, there were large falls in employment in Victoria (123,000 people) and New South Wales (25,000 people, following the 173,000 decline in August). This was partly offset by a 31,000 increase in Queensland, as conditions there recovered from the lockdown in early August,” Mr Jarvis added.

The dollar held its ground near its highest in a month. The Aussie was steady at 73.82 US cents.

Going up

A broad rally lifted nine of eleven sectors. The tech sector bounced 3.5 per cent as a decline in long-term interest rates from a six-month high lifted growth stocks. The Australian ten-year yield fell five points to 1.65 per cent. WiseTech put on 6.71 per cent, Megaport 5.79 per cent, Appen 4.9 per cent and Afterpay 3.89 per cent.

Mining stocks rallied after overseas buyers took advantage of US dollar weakness in commodities. Newcrest rose 2.51 per cent, BHP 1.28 per cent, Rio Tinto 1.47 per cent and Fortescue Metals 1.71 per cent.

Diversified miner South32 surged 5.7 per cent to a three-year high on plans to acquire a 45 per cent stake in a Chilean copper mine. The BHP spin-off will pay US$1.55 billion initially for Sumitomo Metal’s interest in the Sierra Gorda mine. Further payments will be contingent on production.

Collins Foods rose 0.82 per cent to an all-time high after expanding its footprint in the Netherlands. A subsidiary acquired nine KFC restaurants to add to the 35 the company already controls under a corporate franchise agreement.

Virtus Health edged up 0.36 per cent despite news the competition regulator opposes its proposed acquisition of Adora Fertility and three day clinics from Healius. The ACCC informed Virtus they intend to seek an interim court order to prevent the acquisition going ahead. Virtus said it will defend any proceedings.

Online cosmetics retailer Adore Beauty increased revenue by 25 per cent over the first quarter from the same period last year. Active customers increased by 24 per cent to 874,000. The share price firmed 1.42 per cent.

Blackmores overcame news of tensions in the boardroom to climb 0.8 per cent. The board took the unusual step of issuing a statement seeking shareholder support for sitting directors at the upcoming AGM and asking shareholders to reject the candidacy of George Tambassis. Mr Tambassis has the support of company founder and former chair Marcus Blackmore, who left last year after relations with the board became “strained”.

Infant formula stocks had another bright session following Bubs’ well-received trading update yesterday. A2 Milk climbed 5.02 per cent to a three-month high. Bubs put on 1 per cent.

Going down

The energy sector took a breather after US crude declined for the first time in five sessions. Santos eased 1.48 per cent, Woodside 1.5 per cent and Oil Search 1.09 per cent.

Falling interest rates dragged on some of the banks. Macquarie Group slid 0.6 per cent, ANZ 0.36 per cent and CBA 0.76 per cent. Westpac gained 0.67 per cent and NAB 0.46 per cent.

Declines in most of its key metrics sent online marketplace Redbubble down 12.83 per cent. Revenues fell 28 per cent over the first quarter, gross transaction value 21 per cent and gross profit 34 per cent. Despite the headline numbers, the company said its underlying performance improved and the results were in line with expectations.

Whitehaven Coal eased 2.12 per cent despite declaring it expects to be debt-free by the March quarter. Record thermal coal prices will allow the miner to pay down its senior debt facility early next year. The company reaffirmed its production and sales guidance.

Other markets

US futures remained buoyant. S&P 500 futures improved 13 points or 0.3 per cent. In Asia, the Dow gained 0.36 per cent and Japan’s Nikkei 0.81 per cent. China’s Shanghai Composite dipped 0.19 per cent.

Oil recouped last night’s loss. Brent crude bounced 24 US cents or 0.3 per cent to US$83.42 a barrel.

Gold trimmed a 2 per cent overnight rally, falling US$3.40 or 0.2 per cent to US$1,791.30 an ounce.

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