THE MARKET ENDED HIGHER... LED BY ENERGY AND HEALTHCARE STOCKS. THE ASX 200 ADDED A QUARTER OF A PER CENT. TAKING A LOOK AT SOME MOVERS.

BLUESCOPE CLOSED HIGHER AFTER ANNOUNCING ITS SLASHING ANOTHER 170 JOBS. RIVAL ARRIUM UP. BANKS ARE MIXED, AND RESOURCES ARE DOWN. LOOKING ACROSS THE REGION... MARKETS ARE MOSTLY HIGHER. COMMODITIES TURNED AROUND ... THE AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR AROUND 105 AND A HALF.

A FAIR BIT OF DATA OUT TODAY... WHICH ECONOMISTS BELIEVE ALL POINT TO FURTHER INTEREST RATE CUTS. THE BUREAU OF STATISTICS DATA SHOW A FALL IN DEMAND FOR HOME LOANS. THE BUREAU OF STATISTICS FIGURES SHOW JUST OVER 46 THOUSAND NEW HOME LOANS WERE GRANTED IN NOVMEBR. DOWN HALF A PER FENT FROM THE PREVIOUS MONTH.

AUSTRALIAN JOB ADS HAVE SUNK TO THEIR LOWEST LEVEL IN ALMOST THREE YEARS. THE LATEST A-N-Z DATA SHOWS A THREE-POINT-EIGHT PER CENT FALL IN JOB ADS DURING DECEMBER.

ALSO OUT TODAY WAS THE T-D SECURITIES INFLATION GAUGE WHICH ROSE ONLY SLIGHTLY IN DECEMBER. DRIVEN UP BY HIGHER PETROL, HOLIDAY TRAVEL AND ACCOMMODATION PRICES. ANZ ECONOMIST JUSTIN FABO SAYS THAT LEAVES ROOM FOR THE RBA TO MOVE.

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