Unemployment rate rises to 5.4%: Midday roundup

The unemployment rate has increased to 5.4% in September, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The figure comes after a reading of 5.1% in August, and is sure to tip the RBA board in favour of making another interest rate cut when it meets next month.

Economists had expected the rate to rise to just 5.3%.

Full time employment rose by 32,100 to 8.107 million in September, while part-time employment was down 17,700 to 3.405 million.

The participation rate rose to 65.2% from 65% in August.

Seven move to buy Consmedia blocked by ACCC

The competition regulator has blocked the Seven Network from buying media group ConsMedia, increasing the likelihood of News Corp making a move.

The ACCC chair Rod Sims said this morning any deal made by Seven would make an entity too strong in bidding for sports broadcasting rights.

“The proposed acquisition would put Seven Network in a position of advantage over other free-to-air networks in relation to …. the acquisition of sports rights,” Sims says, adding it “would significantly reduce the ability of Seven Network’s competitors to acquire such content”.

Shares flat after weak Wall Street lead

The Australian sharemarket has opened flat this morning following a weak lead from offshore markets after concerns emerged over China’s continual rate of growth.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 14.6 points or 0.3% to 4,476 at 12.10 AEST, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 128 points or 1% to 13,345.

ACCC blocks Sonic bid for Healthscope

The competition regulator has blocked Sonic Healthcare’s bid for Healthscope’s pathology business, saying it would result in “substantially lessening competition”.

“This is due to a range of factors, including the reputation, professional relationships, network of collection centres and testing capability it has established in Queensland, supported by its strong position in other pathology markets in Australia.”

“If Healthscope were removed as a competitive constraint, it is not likely to be replaced in a timely and sufficient way by the new entry or expansion of other pathology providers in Queensland.”


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