Following positive offshore leads, the Australian share market opened higher but has edged into the red and is 0.6 per cent down at noon.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 21 points down at 4,052. On the futures market the SPI is 31 points lower.
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment has shown a slight increase for this month rising 0.3 per cent from May to 95.6 index points, coming in below expectations.
Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN) shares have gained some momentum today amid reports a consortium could bid for the airline. Macquarie Group Limited (ASX:MQG) and Citigroup have reportedly been appointed to monitor potential takeover efforts. Shares in Qantas are trading up 3.26 per cent at $1.11.
Echo Entertainment Group Limited (ASX:EGP) has advised the market that Macquarie Group Limited (ASX:MQG) has acquired a 5 per cent stake in the casino operator. Echo remains in a trading halt today, with shares last trading at $4.49.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Consumer Discretionary gaining 1 point to 1,231. Shares in Crown Limited (ASX:CWN) have risen 1.44 per cent and trading at $8.43. Shares in News Corp and Navitas are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Industrials, falling 35 points to 3,249. Shares in Cabcharge Australia Limited (ASX:CAB) have fallen 11.23 per cent, trading at $4.98. Shares in Seek and NRW Holdings are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,608.20 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $99.41 US cents.