The December Wage Price Index showed Australian wages rose by 1% quarter on quarter and 3.7% annualised.
The quarterly rise was higher than the 0.8% increase that economists forecasted.
The index data for the year does show wages rising above inflation, but not at any problematic level.
Seven out of twelve sectors finished in positive territory. Energy plays were collectively the best, helped by Woodside’s 2.5% jump after the company reported its full year results and reaffirmed its 2012 production guidance.
The big four banks were stronger on the day; Westpac put on 0.5% and ANZ advanced 0.6%.
The mining majors were weaker as flash PMI data out of China provided evidence that the country’s manufacturing activity is continuing to slow.
BHP lost 0.1%, while Rio Tinto declined 0.9%.
Computershare (-0.3%) lost ground after posting a 1H FY12 profit of $105.6 million, a 9.7% slide compared to the same period in FY11. The result missed analyst estimates.
Seek soared 10.7% after it reported a 1H FY12 profit of $60.6 million, a 26.5% rise compared to the previous corresponding period. The results beat analyst expectations.
The ASX 200 added two points, to close at 4293.