Following soft offshore leads, the Australian share market was off to a shaky start this morning opening lower but has retrieved its losses and is in positive territory at noon.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 10 points up at 4,078. On the futures market the SPI is 15 points higher.
The Housing Industry Association has reported new home sales figures for April have jumped to 6.9 per cent for the month after a 9.4 per cent decline in March.
SEEK Limited (ASX:SEK) will invest about $US78.8 million to increase its stake in Brasil Online to 51 per cent. An additional $US22.5 million will be invested in Mexico’s Online Career Center that will bump up its interest to 57 per cent. SEEK’s chief executive says the “transactions reflect the evolution of SEEK’s international expansion strategy of investing in attractive businesses within growth regions.” Shares in SEEK are trading up 2.64 per cent at $6.60.
Macquarie Group Limited (ASX:MQG) is reportedly the successful tender for a $582 million contract with the Philippines government. According to Fairfax Media, the Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets business will oversee the Philippine infrastructure fund over a 10-year period. The Government Service Insurance System will be the major investor in the fund with Macquarie as another major investor. Shares in Macquarie Group are trading up 1.02 per cent at $26.79.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Utilities gaining 55 points to 4,845. Shares in AGL Energy Limited (ASX:AGK) have risen 2.26 per cent and trading at $14.78. Shares in Duet Group and Energy World Corporation are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Real Estate Investment Trusts, falling 5 points to 860. Shares in Stockland (ASX:SGP) have fallen 1.22 per cent, trading at $3.23. Shares in Westfield Group and Commonwealth Property Office Fund are also lower.
Allegiance Coal (ASX:AHQ) floated today with an issue price of $0.20 opening at $0.19 and currently trading at $0.13.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,574 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying 98.33 US cents.