S&P/ASX 200 rises above 6500 as wage growth drops to historic lows

Brent crude oil futures for January dropped 0.3% to US$43.61 a barrel today after a bigger-than-expected build in U.S. crude stockpiles raised fears of weak fuel demand and a potential supply glut.

Maximus Resources Ltd - S&P/ASX 200
Spot gold rose 0.2% to US$1,881.36 per ounce.

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) gained 0.28% to 6516 points by about 1.34 pm after rising as high as 6537.2 points earlier in the day.

The utilities sector is leading the gains, up 1.19%, closely followed by the financial sector with a rise of 1.08%.

Healthcare and consumer are also higher, but the energy and materials sectors are in the red.

Wage growth slows

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data revealed that wage growth in Australia slumped to historic lows, with the wage percentage index (WPI) rising just 0.1% over the September quarter.

This is the second consecutive quarter of record-low wage growth and brings annual wage growth to 1.4% - the slowest pace since the ABS began its records in 1997.

“Fewer end of financial year wage reviews”

ABS head of price statistics Andrew Tomadini said: “Organisations continued to adjust to the economic uncertainty, recording fewer end of financial year wage reviews and delaying enterprise bargaining agreement increases.

“This led to a significantly reduced number of jobs recording wage rises when compared to previous September quarters.

“Additionally, the staggered implementation schedule of the Fair Work Commission annual wage review moved some regular September quarter wage rises to later quarters."

Top gainers

Today’s top gainers on the ASX include Maximus Resources Limited (ASX:MXR) (+10.00%), Alta Zinc Ltd (ASX:AZI) (+25.00%), Oakdale Resources Ltd (ASX:OAR) (+22.22%), Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) (+11.11%), Brookside Energy Ltd (ASX:BRK) (+16.67%), Auroch Minerals Ltd (ASX:AOU) (+11.11%), Emperor Energy Ltd (ASX:EMP) (+19.23%) and Kazia Therapeutics Ltd (ASX:KZA) (+34.87%).

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