The Australian share market is trading flat at lunchtime on Thursday, after testing five year highs during Wednesday's trade.
Despite gains on the US Dow Jones Index overnight, Australian investors are electing to remain on the sidelines after August jobs data showed a slight tick-up in the unemployment rate. Unemployment rose to 5.8 per cent in August after 10,800 jobs were lost last month. CommSec Chief Economist Craig James believes these numbers are backward looking, given we're seeing a recovery in the global economy and Australian consumer confidence is at a three year high.
A man looks at stock market prices on computer monitors inside a securities company in Taipei December 2, 2008.
In company news, retailer Myer Limited (MYR) has reported a near nine per cent drop in full year profit to $127.2M. The company has blamed economic conditions for the result and doesn't expect a full turnaround until FY15. MYR shareholders will receive an 8c per share final dividend. MYR is down 2.4 per cent at lunchtime to $2.81 while rival David Jones (DJS) is also weaker, down 1.6 per cent to $2.865.
Elsewhere, Sigma Pharmaceuticals (CIP) reported a 38 per cent drop in 1H profit to $16.3M. Sales revenue rose 3 per cent to $1.46 billion despite federal government changes to the PBS (pharmaceutical benefits scheme0. SIP id up 2.8 per cent to 65.25c at lunchtime.
So far on the market, a total of 803 million shares have changed hands, worth $1.6 billion. 419 are up, 352 are down and 270 are unchanged.
The Australian dollar has lost almost a cent following the rise in unemployment. Before 11.30am AEST the Aussie reached a high of US93.56c but is currently buying US92.73c.
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