Following weakly positive leads from overseas markets, the Australian share market has seen choppy trade in before heading lower to be 0.2 per cent down at noon.
There are steep falls in the resource sector with mining giant BHP Billiton down over 1 per cent in morning trade. Gains in the financial and healthcare sectors are limiting losses across the board.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 12 points down at 5,949. On the futures market the SPI is 13 points lower.
Novogen Limited (ASX:NRT)
says studies have showed its experimental drug Anisina kills off melanoma cells irrespective of their mutational status. In the past, treatments have only been able to target about 50 per cent of the melanoma mutations. Since 1973, melanoma incidence has doubled world wide with relapse of the disease common in a vast majority of patients. Novogen believes Anisina has potential to become a significant weapon against a variety of cancers and are moving full steam ahead towards achieving regulatory approval. Shares in Novogen are trading up 40.91 per cent at $0.31.
Leighton Holdings (ASX:LEI)
say subsidiary Leighton Contractors has been given a $160 million contract to design and construct a 6km extension of the Mitchell Freeway in Perth. The project starts later this month and should employ around 244 people till its expected completion midway through 2017. Shares in Leighton Holdings have slipped 2.25 per cent to $20.87.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is consumer discretionary, gaining 0.3 per cent to 2,012. Shares in ARB Corporation have risen 3.78 per cent and are trading at $12.89. Shares in Myer Holdings and G8 Education are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is energy, falling 1.2 per cent to 11,030. Shares in Karoon Gas have fallen 3.38 per cent, trading at $2.29. Shares in Beach Energy and Worley Parsons are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,199 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying 76.77 US cents.