ASX gains despite higher inflation, job-vacancies dip, and World Bank warns of looming recession — as it happened – ABC News

ASX gains despite higher inflation, job-vacancies dip, and World Bank warns of looming recession — as it happened
For the latest flood and weather warnings, search on ABC Emergency
Keep up with all the action on day 3 of the Australian Open
Keep across all the live scores and results from the Australian Open at Melbourne Park
The Australian share market has gained after a rise on Wall Street and as miners were boosted by higher iron ore prices. 
The good showing came despite another rise in inflation and job vacancies pulling back in November.  And the World Bank warned the globe was teetering on the brink of recession. 
Disclaimer: this blog is not intended as investment advice.
By Sue Lannin
ASX 200: 7,195 up 0.9 per cent
All Ordinaries: 7,406 up 1 per cent
Australian dollar: 69.17 up 0.4 per cent
Hang Seng: 21,590 up 1.2 per cent
Shanghai Composite: 3,176 up 0.2 per cent
Nikkei 225: 26,430 up 1.2 per cent
Dow Jones: 33,704 up 0.6 per cent 

S&P 500: 3,919 up 0.7 per cent
Nasdaq: 10,743 up 1 per cent
FTSE: 7,695 down 0.4 per cent
DAX: 14,775 down 0.1 per cent
CAC 40: 6,869 down 0.6 per cent
Spot gold: $US1,880  up 0.1 per cent
Brent crude: $US79.33 a barrel down 1 per cent
Iron ore: $US119.30 up 1.9 per cent
By Sue Lannin
Here's the top movers on the ASX 200.
By Sue Lannin
Australian shares have made tracks to a one month high despite inflation rising to the highest level in three decades.
The ASX 200 put on 0.9 per cent to 7,195, while the All Ordinaries index climbed 1 per cent to 7,406.
Miners drove the gains after an increase in iron ore prices, but the rises were broad based with just one of the 11 sectors losing ground.
BHP (+1.5 per cent) hit a record high of $48.93.
Real estate firms, consumer stocks and industrials were also among the gainers.
152 out of the top 200 stocks increased today. 
Battery materials maker Novonix (+9.4 per cent) did the best, while accounting software firm Xero (-3.3 per cent) did the worst.
Gas firm Warrego Energy (-1.3 per cent) lost ground as the battle between Gina Rinehart's Hancock Energy and Strike Energy to takeover the firm continues.
Strike Energy says its takeover bid for 1 new Strike share for each Warrego share is now open to shareholders.
Warrego says three of its biggest investors have now accepted cash for their shares rejecting Strike's share offer.
By Sue Lannin
The rise in annual inflation to 7.3 per cent is seeing economists predict more interest rate rises by the Reserve Bank.
Betashares chief economist David Bassanese says the Australian economy remains resilient in the face of the RBA's steep rate hikes.
He told Alicia Barry on ABC News Channel that he expects another 0.25 percentage point increase at next month's RBA meeting because of strong inflation.
He expects the cash rate to reach 3.6 per cent this year.
By Sue Lannin
Solar energy company Sun Cable has gone into voluntary administration after investors couldn't agree on its future direction and funding structure.
Sun Cable plans to build the $30 billion Australia-Asia PowerLink (AAPowerLink) project, the largest renewable energy project in the world, to supply power to the Northern Territory and Singapore later this decade. 
But the project now hangs in the balance with FTI Consulting appointed as voluntary administrators.
They will look for new capital or sell the business.
The company has received government and regulatory approvals for the AAPowerlink project, which is being built in the Northern Territory, as well as preliminary Indonesian approval for a subsea cable.
Construction was expected to start in two years time.
Despite today's developments, Sun Cable founder and chief executive David Griffin, said the project was well placed for completion.
"Sun Cable has made extraordinary progress in developing the AAPowerLink. "
"Sun Cable looks forward to developing and operating the projects to meet this demand.”
The company is backed by billionaire investors including Fortescue Metals executive chairman Andrew Forrest and Atlassian co-founder and activist investor Mike Cannon-Brookes, who is also the chairman of Sun Cable. 
"I'm confident it will play a huge role in delivering green energy for the world, right here from Australia," he said.
"I fully back this ambition and the team, and look forward to supporting the company’s next chapter.”
The project would be the world's first intercontinental renewable power system according to foundation investor and renewable energy company Squadron Energy, which is owned by Mr Forrest's private investment company, Tattarang.
It would harness and store solar energy from the Northern Territory and transmit it to Darwin and Singapore via a high voltage direct current cable transmission system.
 Squadron led a $210 million capital raising to fund the development of the AAPowerLink.
More from my colleagues David Chau and Michael Janda. 
By Sue Lannin
The Australian share market is holding onto its gains despite price rises returning to their highest in more than three decades.
Inflation rose by 7.3 per cent over the year to November driven by higher prices for home construction, transport, food and furniture.
The ASX 200 is up 1 per cent to 7,197.
The benchmark index is being driven by miners, after optimism about China's opening up spurred an increase in iron ore prices.
Among the movers are big miners BHP (+2 per cent) and Rio Tinto (+1.8 per cent), gold miner Resolute Mining (+3.1 per cent).
Battery materials maker Novonix (+8.4 per cent) is the best performer in the ASX 200, while the worst performer is accounting software provider Xero (-4 per cent).
By Sue Lannin
Here are the market movers over lunchtime.
By Sue Lannin
Australian investors don't seem to be worried today by the rise in the cost of living in November because the numbers were expected.
That's even though the prospect of more interest rates by the RBA is on the cards.
Capital Economics senior economist Marcel Thieliant thinks the numbers mean the central bank will press on with rate rises.
"The renewed rise in inflation in November coupled with strong retail sales data will prompt the Reserve Bank to press ahead with another 0.25 per cent hike at its February meeting," he said.
 "And the continued strength in inflation coupled with the resilience in consumption will prompt the RBA to keep hiking rates for a while  yet." 
The ASX 200 index came off its highs as the figures came out, then rose 0.9 per cent to 7,174 with nearly all sectors gaining as miners drove the market because of higher iron ore prices. 
The Australian dollar lost its gains and was buying around 68.88 US cents.
By Sue Lannin
Australia has seen record job vacancies as the economy recovered from the pandemic with many businesses facing worker shortages.
Those shortages are starting to ease according to the Bureau of Statistics, but they remain high because of fewer temporary foreign workers in the country.
The ABS says job vacancies fell 5 per cent seasonally adjusted from August to November to 444,000, and they are down 8 per cent from their record high in May. 
Bjorn Jarvis, head of labour statistics at the ABS, says the number of unfilled roles is much higher than before the pandemic.
“Despite falling recently, the number of job vacancies in November was 12 per cent higher than November 2021 (398,000) and almost double what they were in February 2020 (228,000), prior to the COVID-19 pandemic," Mr Jarvis said.
And the ABS says more than one quarter of businesses reported they had at least one vacancies.
“While the number of vacancies has begun to fall over the past six months, we are continuing to see a greater share of businesses reporting at least one vacancy. "
“These figures continue to show the high demand for workers across many businesses and all industries, in a tight labour market.”
”There had been more rapid growth in private sector vacancies up to May 2022, from which they have fallen over the past six months."
"Public sector vacancies have increased at a slower but steadier rate over that period."
By Sue Lannin
Here's Sean Langcake, head of macroeconomics at BIS Oxford Economics with his quick take on the ABS retail trade figures.
"Black Friday sales have changed retail spending patterns markedly in recent years."
"Consumers are delaying purchases that would previously have been made in October, and bringing forward December spending to capitalise on lower prices."
" This makes the November print a noisy gauge of consumer spending momentum – we will get a much clearer picture of how households are faring against the prevailing headwinds with the December print."
By Sue Lannin
November's online sales event, the Black Friday sales, saw spending rise to a new record high of nearly $36 billion.
People bought more clothes, shoes, furniture and electronic goods.
The Bureau of Statistics says retail sales rose 1.4 per cent over November, following a 0.4 per cent increase in October, the smallest rise for the year. 
Sales climbed by 7.7 per cent over the year. 
Head of ABS retail statistics Ben Dorber says the Black Friday sales are becoming more and more popular.
“While we typically see a rise in spending around Black Friday sales, the strong seasonally adjusted rise in November 2022 shows that the effect is increasing over time, as the event has become more common across retailers and sales periods become longer," he said.
“Given the increasing popularity of Black Friday sales, the smaller increase in October may reflect consumers waiting to take advantage of discounting in November, particularly in light of cost-of-living pressures.”
By Sue Lannin
 The cost living increased by 7.3 per cent over the year to November, up from 6.9 per cent in October according to the Bureau of Statistics. 
Higher prices for housing, food and non-alcoholic beverages, transport, and furniture fueled the price rises.
Economists expected a rise of 7.2 per cent over the year.
The monthly readings measure around three quarters of the usual basket of goods used by the ABS to calculate price rises.
Michelle Marquardt. ABS head of price statistics, says inflationary pressures are continuing.
“The housing group was the main contributor to the annual increase in the November monthly CPI indicator."
"High labour and material costs contributed to the annual rise in new dwelling prices (+17.9 per cent) although, the rate of price growth for new dwellings has eased compared to the 20.4 per cent annual rise seen in October."

Ms Marquardt says food outlets passed on higher prices to customers, and fuel prices also climbed.
"Increasing operating costs, including wages, electricity, and weather affected reductions in food supplies continued to drive prices up.”
"In the transport group we saw some flow-on impact from the restoration of the Federal Government's fuel excise in November's higher automotive fuel prices."
"High jet fuel prices combined with strong consumer demand in November pushed airfare prices up, with accommodation prices also rising."
The last quarterly ABS figures showed annual inflation running at 7.3 per cent for the year to September, driven by the cost of building new homes, higher gas prices, and furniture.

The Reserve Bank expects the cost of living to have increased by 8 per cent on an annual basis over the December quarter.
The higher prices passed through into a rise in retail sales in November,
The ABS says retail sales rose 1.4 per cent over the month, and by 7.7 per cent over the year. 
And figures from the ABS show that household spending climbed by more than 11 per cent over the year to November as prices increased, especially in transport, hotels, cafes, and restaurants.
The Australian dollar rose after the figures came out by 0.25 per cent to 69.02 US cents, which indicates the market expects more interest rate rises by the RBA to curb inflation.
The stock market was little changed.
With more, here's my colleague Emilia Terzon.
By Sue Lannin
While we are waiting for the monthly inflation figures, let's drill down into the action on Wall Street overnight.
US stocks rose after US central bank boss Jerome Powell refrained from commenting on monetary policy in his first speech of the year.
The latest US consumer inflation numbers are out tomorrow, and prices are expected to ease because of steep rate rises.
Online retailer Amazon (+2.9 per cent) drove the Nasdaq and the S&P 500, while IT giant Microsoft put on 0.8 per cent.
Consumer staples and miners did the best on the benchmark index, and a rise in oil prices helped the energy sector.
By Sue Lannin
Here is what's happening on the ASX 200 in early trade.
Higher iron ore prices have seen the big miners drive the market.
BHP (+1.7 per cent), Rio Tinto (1.9 per cent  ), and Fortescue Metals (+1.4 per cent ) are all higher.
Investors are awaiting the latest monthly inflation and retail trade figures which will be out at 11:30am AEDT.
By Sue Lannin
The Australian share market has followed Wall Street higher in early trade.
The ASX 200 index is up 0.5 per cent to 7,164 with nearly all sectors higher.
Miners are leading the gains, followed by industrials, education firms, and energy stocks.
Utilities, which includes power firms such as AGL, and real estate companies are going down.
Lithium firm Allkem (+5.3 per cent) is doing the best on the ASX 200, while Nine Entertainment -2.4 per cent) is doing the worst.
The Australian dollar is up 0.1 per cent at around 68.94 US cents.
By Sue Lannin
We've heard lots of stories about how difficult it is to find a place to rent across the country and how expensive it is.
Now new data shows that Australian landlords passed on their biggest-ever rent rises last year, according to property data firm CoreLogic.
Median rent jumped by a record high 10.2 per cent in 2022 to $555 a week, with the biggest increases in Brisbane and Adelaide.
However, CoreLogic says the pace of price rises has slowed down recently, with rents up by 2 per cent over the last few months of 2022, as more properties came onto the market.
But Eliza Owen from CoreLogic warns:
"Rents are still rising in most capital cities and regional areas, with vacancy rates low."
Here's more from my colleagues Daniel Ziffer and Dave Chau. 
By Sue Lannin
And US home wares retailer Bed Bath & Beyond is sacking more staff as it considers its options including bankruptcy.
The company saw a third quarter loss of $US393 million despite early holiday sales.
"As our strategic direction changes and we streamline our operations, it is necessary to right-size our organisation to ensure we are equipped for the future," the retailer said.
Last year, the retailer said it was cutting about 20 per cent of its corporate and supply chain workforce.
Bed Bath & Beyond shares jumped by 28 per cent on Wall Street.
By Sue Lannin
Every day major global companies have been announcing job cuts.
Overnight, crypto currency trading platform Coinbase said it would lay off 20 per cent of its workforce because of the downturn in the industry. 
That's 950 people in its latest round of layoffs in less than a year from a workforce of about 4,700 full time staff.
In a message to staff, chief executive and co-founder Brian Armstrong said the firm was firing people to "weather downturns in the crypto market."
"While it is always painful to part ways with our colleagues, there was no way to reduce our expenses significantly enough, without considering changes to headcount," he said.
Coinbase expects the cost of redundancies and restructuring will be $US149 million to $US163 million.
Its shares jumped nearly 13 per cent on Wall Street.
By Sue Lannin
Jerome Powell told a bank conference in Sweden that the Fed's independence is essential for it to battle inflation.
The Dow Jones index rose 0.6 per cent, the S&P 500 increased 0.7 per cent, and the Nasdaq rose by 1 per cent.
By Sue Lannin
 The World Bank says the world is teetering on the brink of recession because of central bank interest rate rises to curb inflation, the war in Ukraine, and COVID-19.
It's cut its global growth forecast to 1.7 per cent for 2023, its third weakest pace in nearly three decades, aside from the 2009 and 2020 global recessions.
Growth in major economies is expected to slow from 2.5 per cent last year to 0.5 per cent in 2023 according to the Global Economic Prospects report.
"Over the past two decades, slowdowns of this scale have foreshadowed a global recession," the bank said.
"Given fragile economic conditions, any new adverse development — such as higher-than-expected inflation, abrupt rises in interest rates to contain it, a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic or escalating geopolitical tensions — could push the global economy into recession," the bank said.
"The United States, the euro area, and China are all undergoing a period of prolonged weakness, and the resulting spillovers are exacerbating other headwinds faced by emerging market and developing economies."
In its last report, the World Bank predicted the global economy would expand by 3 per cent this year. 
And it says a "sharp, long-last slowdown" will hit developing countries hard.
"Weakness in growth and business investment will compound the already devastating reversals in education, health, poverty and infrastructure and the increasing demands from climate change," World Bank President David Malpass said.
Global growth is expected to pick up to 2.7 per cent next year, but the bank predicts average growth over 2020 to 2024 will be less than 2 per cent, the slowest pace since 1960.
Meanwhile, China's economy was hit by its zero COVID policy which saw growth slow to 2.7 per cent in 2022, its second slowest pace since the mid-1970s.
The Chinese economy is predicted to expand by 4.3 per cent this year, down nearly 1 per cent from the bank's previous forecast.
Here's more from Reuters.
We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn, and work.
This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced.
AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

source

Leave a Comment