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Australia shares off lows as jobs rise in Sept

MELBOURNE, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Australian shares recovered from session lows to be down 0.3 percent on Thursday, paring steeper losses after data showed a jump in jobs in September and more people looking for work.

The Australian dollar

rose a third of a cent after government data showed employment rose 14,500 in September, compared to forecasts for a slight rise of 3,750. Full-time jobs jumped by 32,100.

.

Unemployment rose three notches to 5.4 percent in September as more people looked for work.

Markets and analysts pared back expectations for rate cuts after the data.

"The best appraisal is that the economy is in a holding pattern. As such, rate cuts still remain on the agenda, but the size of job growth in the latest month does make it harder for the Reserve Bank to justify a rate cut in November," said Craig James, economist at CommSec.

Earlier this month, the central bank cut Australia's rates to a three-year low as growth slows in top trading partner China.

Local stocks fell at the start of trade after U.S. equities sank on corporate warnings of slower growth.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index

was down 11 points at 4,479.4 by 0132 GMT, off a session low of 4,460.4.

The benchmark pulled back from 14-month highs on Wednesday after the IMF cut its growth forecast for China, Australia's biggest export market.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index

slipped 2.5 points to 3,885.6. STOCKS ON THE MOVE:

* Mineral sands miner Iluka Resources

slumped 8.3 percent after it reported a drop in first quarter revenue. 0134 GMT * Lynas Corp Ltd

plunged 16 percent as it faced another delay in opening its rare earths plant in Malaysia, raising the prospect the company may need to shore up its funding with a share sale.

Its shares fell to a six-week low of A$0.69.

0134 GMT

(Reporting by Miranda Maxwell; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

((miranda.maxwell@reuters.com)(Reuters

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