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Australia Market extends gains on rate cut hopes

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The Australian share market closed higher for second straight session on Thursday, 16 May 2019, as investors risk sentiments underpinned on growing hopes for a central cut after weaker than expected local jobs data. At closing bell, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 43.63 points, or 0.69%, at 6,327.84 points, while the broader added 46.60 points, or 0.73%, at 6,417.50.

The local market extended yesterday gains after data showed wage growth stagnating last quarter, fuelling market expectations that the (RBA) would cut interest rates soon. The RBA pinned its hopes on a robust labour market to lend support for a cooling economy. Markets took signs of labour market weakness as an argument for rate cuts. The April jobs report showed that rate crept to 5.2% from 5.0%. It was expected to have ticked up to 5.1%.

surged, on the back of rising and rose as much as 2.8% and 2.1%, respectively. put on 1.2%.

Miners also rose, boosted by gold stocks. Top rose 1% while gained 1.1% . rose 3.2% after a lacklustre performance in the previous session.

Financial stocks were mixed on Thursday. shares rose 1.1% to A$73.33 amid reports it would cut 10,000 jobs while advanced 1.4% to A$26.66.

NAB closed 0.3% lower at A$24.20 while fell 3.9% to A$25.85 as it traded ex-dividend, falling 3.9% to A$25.85.

rose 10.8% to A$60.15 on Thursday after reporting it was edging closer to achieving profitability, recording positive free cash flow in 2019 and a modest net profit in the second half. The company did make a net loss for the financial year to March 31 of A$25.7 million.

shares rose 1.1% to A$202.98 after lifted its price target on the following an analysis of its competitors, suppliers and partners' first quarter financial results.

closed 5% higher at A$26.87. In a note on Thursday, said there would be continued near-term growth, despite its US revenue share almost doubling over the last five years. It said it was likely its growing would drive share gains.

CURRENCY NEWS: The Australian dollar edged up against the U. S. dollar on Thursday, after data showed Australia's rate rose to the highest in eight months while full-time jobs fell. The data has increased the risk the (RBA) will cut the cash rate in June, earlier than our call of July. The Aussie dollar skidded 0.4% to $0.6891, the weakest since early January when a currency 'crash' briefly sent the Aussie to $0.6743.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 16 2019. 16:02 IST