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Market Update

Record August Job Addition in Australia, Unemployment Rate Falls to 6.1%

Author: Marcus Jacob
Last Update: 10:46 AM ET September 11 2014

5:00 PM Sydney, Australia Employers added net 121,000 jobs in August, the largest monthly addition since record keeping began in 1978. Unemployment rate declined to 6.1% from a 12-year high of 6.4% in July.

Stocks in Sydney opened higher but afternoon sell-off dragged market indexes in negative territory.

The latest jobs data a surge in hiring but economists were sceptical of the monthly jobs data for July and August after the revised methodology may have impacted the hiring data.

The monthly increase was the largest since the record keeping began in 1978 and was ahead of expectations of 15,000 increase.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in August declined to 6.1% from 6.4% in July.

In August, the economy added net 121,000 jobs following the loss of 300 jobs in the previous month. The labor participation rate was 65.2%, unchanged from the July reading.

Australian dollar traded at 91.73 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover dropped to 697 million shares worth $4.66 billion.

ASX 200 index slipped 28.20 or 0.5% to 5,546.10 and the broader All Ordinaries index fell 27.50 to 5,546.90.

Stocks in Review

Affinity Education Group Limited climbed 4.9% to $1.38 after the child care and education services provider signed agreements to acquire 20 child care centers for about $19 million. With the purchase the total number of centers increased to 140.

Myer Holdings Limited plunged 12.9% to $2.15 after the department store operator reported total sales in the year ending on July 26 slid 0.06% to $3.14 billion while comparable store sales rose 1.2%.

Net profit in the year tumbled 23% to $98.5 million compared to $129.9 million and diluted earnings per share declined to 16.6 cents from 21.6 cents a year earlier.

Sigma Pharmaceuticals Limited declined 4.8% to 79 cents after the pharmaceutical products distributor said net revenue in the first-half ending in July jumped 2.6% to $1.50 billion from $1.46 billion a year ago period.

Net profit in the period surged 37.5% to $22.4 million compared to $16.3 million and diluted earnings per share increased to 2.1 cents from 1.4 cents a year earlier.

Westfield Corp slipped 0.8% to $7.54 after the shopping mall operator today priced senior guaranteed bond sold in the U.S. to raise $3.5 billion and repay the maturing debt.

Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc