Australian shares pared heavy early-session losses to be down less than half a percentage point as investors looked past a plunging oil price and focused instead on better-than-expected local jobs data.
The equity market fell as much as 1.3 percent in early trading after the oil price slid to a five-year low on news that Saudi Arabia vowed to maintain its production even though OPEC slashed its 2015 forecast. Oil stocks fell the most.
But the late morning release of official jobs data showing Australian employment grew far faster than expected in November – albeit it was mostly part-time employment – sparked a rebound.
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