Midday: Aus shares seeking direction

Market Reports


Following little direction from barely changed US markets, the Australian share market has opened flat and is 0.06 per cent up at noon. Investors are awaiting a lunchtime speech by Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens as the market faces a seventh consecutive day of losses. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 3 points up at 5,474. On the futures market the SPI is 14 points higher. 
 
Economic news

Two consumer sentiment reports released today are painting a bleak picture of potential household spending. 
 
The weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan index showed a fall of 1.2 per cent to 112.1 points after spending two weeks stead at 113.5 points. 
 
And the monthly consumer sentiment report from Westpac slipped a seasonally adjusted 6.9 per cent in June, wiping out May’s 6.4 per cent buoyed by the Federal Budget’s tax break for small business. 
 
The two reports indicate economic concerns continue to weigh on consumer minds with no real lift in consumer spending on the horizon.
 
Company news
 
Mobile Embrace Limited (ASX:MBE) has invested in leading cashless transaction app developer Clipp. Mobile Embrace now owns 31 per cent of Clipp with another $3.5 million of convertible notes issued which if drown would take MBE to 72 per cent ownership. The deal will accelerate Clipp’s growth across the $40B hospitality industry. Shares in Mobile Embrace are trading up 2.04 per cent at $0.25. 
 
And recently-listed Crowd Mobile Limited (ASX:CM8) has announced it will buy the Netherlands based Track Concepts, a leading M-payments network and technology platform. Track Concepts operates across 140 mobile carriers in 38 countries. The deal is still subject to due diligence and funding approvals. Shares in Crowd Mobile are trading 5.88 per cent higher at $0.18. 
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is energy, gaining 1.7 per cent to 11,440. Shares in Karoon Gas have risen 5.42 per cent and trading at $2.53. Shares in Oil Search and Woodside are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is healthcare, falling 0.9 per cent to 18,199. Shares in Japara Healthcare have fallen 2.93 per cent, trading at $2.65. Shares in Greencross and CSL are also lower. 

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,177 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying 76.82 US cents.