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ASX to drop, US stocks tumble as jobs report awaited - 10/03/23

Market Wrap

U.S. stocks fell after jobless claims showed that the labor market is still strong, complicating the picture for the Federal Reserve's rates path.
The S&P 500 fell 1.9%, the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index dipped about 2.1%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped about 1.7%.
The Labor Department said worker filings for U.S. unemployment benefits jumped more than 10% last week. But jobless claims are still historically low as demand for labor outstrips the number of people looking for work. The monthly jobs report, which is closely watched by investors, will be released Friday.
Earlier, in Asia, Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.6% -- its highest level since Aug. 26. Gains were led by electronics and financial stocks thanks partly to the yen's recent weakness.
Chinese shares ended lower after the country released muted February inflation data, indicating weak consumer demand. Consumption and insurance stocks weighed on the market while telecom names were higher in volatile trading. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ended 0.2% lower. The Shenzhen Composite Index fell 0.1% and the ChiNext Price Index declined 0.2%.
Elsewhere, New Zealand's NZX-50 closed 0.25% lower as concern over interest rates and inflation kept the benchmark index on course for its longest run of weekly losses in more than two years.
And Australia's S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.1% higher as strength in the financial and tech sectors helped offset losses among mining stocks. The tech sector rose 2.7%, as accounting software provider Xero surged 11% on the announcement of cost cuts aimed at boosting profitability.

Movers & ShakersBroker Upgrades & Downgrades

(CAR) Carsales.com Target Price Raised 2.4% to A$25.10/Share by Macquarie
(ELD) Elders Target Price Cut 5.8% to A$14.60/Share by Shaw & Partners

Today's Announcements

No Australian data
NZ February Business, NZ manufacturing PMI at 8.30am AEDT
Eurozone February CPI final at 6pm AEDT
US nonfarm payrolls at 12.30am AEDT Saturday


Oil futures stretched their losses into a third consecutive session, pressured by a warning from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell this week that interest rates will need to rise higher, and possibly faster, than previously anticipated.
West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery fell 1.2% to settle at $75.72 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. May Brent crude declined by 1.3% to $81.59 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, the lowest settlement since Feb. 22.
"Oil is once again snared in the Fed rate hike loop," said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, in a note.
Gold prices settled higher, with the yellow metal paring some of its losses from earlier in the week brought on by the Fed chairman's two-day testimony to Congress.
April gold prices gained 0.9% to settle at $1,834.60 per ounce on Comex.


(All news & data sourced from Aspect Huntley / AFR / The Australian / Bloomberg / Reuters / CNBC / Wall Street Journal / Morningstar / OPTO / Trading Economics)


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