Aust stocks slightly lower at noon

Local bourse tracks downwards following release of ABS unemployment statistics.

The Australian stock market has slipped in midday trade following the release of Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data which saw full-time jobs contract in October.

At 1205 AEDT the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 0.2% to 5422.9 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index edged down 0.16% to 5417.4 points.

Financials were mixed, with the big four mostly lower.

ANZ lost 3.67% to $32.56, while Commonwealth Bank put on 1.14% to $78.85.

National Australia Bank fell 3.39% to $34.675, and Westpac slipped 0.25% to $34.475.

Investment bank Macquarie Group rallied 2.44% to $54.52.

In insurance, IAG was 0.49% lower at $6.14.

Suncorp gained 0.45% to $13.40, and QBE lifted 0.34% at $14.84.

Materials were also mixed.

BHP Billiton edged up 0.18% to $38.16, while rival Rio Tinto decreased 0.1% to $65.535.

Fortescue Metals retreated 2.4% to $5.70, while Newcrest lost 0.74% to $10.115.

Whitehaven Coal fell 0.81% to $1.5275.

Oil Search declined 0.24% to $8.46, Santos was flat at $15.13 and Woodside Petroleum added 0.33% to $39.48.

In economic news on Thursday, the Australian unemployment rate rose to 5.7% in October, ABS data shows.

The Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry Association Australian Performance of Construction Index showed the sector expanded for the first time in three years.

In equities news, Fairfax Media held its annual general meeting.

Wesfarmers and Credit Corp Group also have AGMs scheduled.

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