Midday: Aus shares tumble 1.4%

Market Reports

With a selloff in the US and Europe the local market opened lower and has tumbled 1.4 per cent at midday.
 
Weakness came from the banks and real estate investment trusts while an uptick in the oil price helped energy stocks.
 
The Aussie dollar has held on to trade at $US0.7833
 
The S&P/ASX 200 indexis 83 points down at 5,890. On the futures market the SPI is 86 points lower.
 
Company news
 
Shares in Brickworks Limited (ASX:BKW) have defied the local selloff to push higher despite reporting a 25 per cent dip in first half profit. The building products manufacturer blamed the profit slide on non-cash impairments charges in Austral Precast and Auswest Timbers. The company says an upturn in housing activity is positive and that it shows no signs of easing. The company declared a 15 cent dividend, up 7 per cent on the previous period. Shares in Brickworks are trading up 0.44 per cent at $13.62. 

Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. Limited (ASX:SOL) has reported growth in its underlying first half profit primarily supported by gains from New Hope Coal and TPG Telecom. The diversified investment company says its “regular” profit after tax increased to $84.8 million while its statutory net profit dipped 8 per cent due to one-off impairments. The company declared a fully franked interim dividend of 20 cents, which is up 5.3 per cent. Shares in Soul Pattinson are trading down0.75 per cent at $14.53 
 
Best and worst performers

All major sectors are down today the sector with the least losses is energy, losing 0.4 per cent to 11,166. Shares in AWE Limited (ASX:AWE) have risen 1.6 per cent and trading at $1.27. Shares in Santos Limited (ASX:STO) and Drillsearch Energy Limited (ASX:DLS) are also stronger.
 
The worst performing sector is REITs, falling 1.9 per cent to 1,300. Shares in BWP Trust (ASX:BWP)have fallen 2.92 per cent, trading at $2.99. Shares in Westfield Corp Limited (ASX:WFD) and Shopping Centres Australasia Property Group Limited (ASX:SCP) are also lower.

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,195 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7833