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ASX up 0.13 per cent at noon as Job vacancies fall 2 per cent for quarter to May

Job vacancies in Australia decreased by 2% in May 2023 compared to February 2023, with private sector vacancies declining by 2.3% and public sector vacancies increasing by 0.3%. Despite the decline, job vacancies remained high, around 89% higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic, and businesses continued to face challenges in recruiting and retaining staff.

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 0.13 per cent higher at 7,206.20.

The SPI futures are pointing to a rise of 21 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Information Technology, up 1.6 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Utilities, down 1.03 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is REA Group (ASX:REA), trading 2.62 per cent higher at $141.17. It is followed by shares in WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC) and ANZ Group Holdings (ASX:ANZ).

The worst-performing large cap is Ramsay Health Care (ASX:RHC), trading 1.85 per cent lower at $56.25. It is followed by shares in Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and Amcor plc (ASX:AMC).

Asian markets

Asia-Pacific shares traded mixed Thursday, as investors continue to parse comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell who indicated there could be multiple rate hikes ahead.

The Nikkei 225 was up 0.9% while the Topix traded 0.37% higher as Japanese retail sales rose 5.7% year-on-year in May, official data showed.

South Korea’s Kospi inched up 0.4%, while the Kosdaq slipped 0.18% lower. Japan and South Korea are slated to discuss a currency swap deal in what would be their first bilateral finance meeting in seven years, according to Reuters.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.62% in the first hour of trade. Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.11% and the Shenzhen Component was higher by 0.13%.

Markets in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia are closed for the Eid al-Adha holidays.

Company news

North Stawell Minerals (ASX:NSM) has upgraded its Wildwood Mineral Resource. Chief Executive Russell Krause said that the increase “reflects an increased attention and definition of the lithology model and mineralisation controls of the deposit.” Shares are trading flat at 10 cents.

Next Science’s (ASX:NXS) unaudited product sales for Q2FY23 are expected to be above US$5.6m. This compares with reported product sales of US$4.4m in Q1 FY23. Shares are trading 26 per cent higher at 60.5 cents.

archTIS Limited (ASX:AR9, OTCQB:ARHLF), has been awarded a $4.06M contract with The Australian Department of Defence. MD Daniel Lai commented, “We believe that NC Protect can contribute to the way the department works on and secures information in a modern workplace environment.” Shares are trading 18.8 per cent higher at 8.2 cents.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1782.70 an ounce.

One Australian dollar is buying 66.19 US cents.