After briefly setting a new 20-day high, the ASX 200 ended Thursday 0.3 per cent lower at 7,324.10.
The index slipped after the Bureau of Statistics revealed the unemployment rate was unchanged in March at 3.5 per cent — leading some traders to believe more interest rate hikes from the Reserve Bank are in store.
Following the release of the jobs data, the Aussie dollar soared above 67 US cents.
Asian markets were mixed. The Nikkei rose slightly, while both the Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng dipped into the red.
In the green
Only three of the 11 ASX sectors ended today in the green: Energy, IT and Real Estate.
Corporate Travel Management (CTD) shares rose to a six-month high after winning a contract from the UK Home Office worth an estimated $3 billion.
Omega Oil and Gas (OMA) shares were up by nearly 50 per cent today after intersecting 293 metres of gas shows within its Canyon-2 well in Queensland.
Shares ended the day up 35.9 per cent at 26 cents.
TMK Energy (TMK) shares rose 12.5 per cent after the company announced it had spud the Lucky Fox pilot production well within its Mongolian operations.
In the red
The consumer staples sector bore the brunt of today’s losses.
Coles Group (COL) shed 2.5 per cent after Australian retailer Wesfarmers sold its remaining stake in the supermarket chain.
While the details have not been disclosed, it’s believed to equate to around $688 million — or $18.50 per share.
Block Inc (SQ2) shares slumped 5.8 per cent, slightly more than its US counterpart’s overnight dip of 5.5 per cent.
The buy now, pay later player was targeted by short seller Hindenburg Research last month and denied allegations it overstated its Cash App user numbers and understated customer acquisition costs.
Block issued a statement on March 23 saying it would explore legal action against Hindenburg for its “factually inaccurate and misleading” report.
Block wasn’t the only buy now, pay later stock in the red: Sezzle (SZL) and Zip Co (ZIP) also sustained losses.