Midday: Energy & miners weigh on ASX

Market Reports

Following negative leads the Australian share market has retreated 0.5 per cent at noon. Energy and mining stocks are weighing on the index with most sectors trading in the red. In the absence of major economic data offshore jitters about a potential Greek debt deal continue to sap sentiment. 
 
Figures
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index has dipped 26 points to 5,571. On the futures market the SPI is 29 points lower. 
 
Company news
 
Energy Resources of Australia Limited (ASX:ERA) has announced board departures just weeks after halting the expansion of its controversial Ranger mine in the Northern Territory. The uranium miner’s Chairman Peter McMahon and independent non-executive directors Helen Garnett and David Smith resigned over the weekend. The outgoing directors say it became difficult for the company to pursue its plans for the project without the support of its major shareholder Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO). Shares in Energy Resources of Australia have risen 5.22 per cent and are trading at $0.35. 
 
Staffing services company Skilled Group Limited (ASX:SKE) has entered into a trading halt as prepares to update the market on a potential transaction. Rival group staffing, maintenance and project services provider Programmed Maintenance Services Limited (ASX:PRG) has also halted trade pending an announcement on a possible acquisition. The development comes just week after Skilled Group revealed it is reconsidering a possible merger with Programmed.  Shares in Skilled Group last traded at $1.54. 
 
Best and worst performers
 
The best performing sector is real estate investment trusts, gaining 1.4 per cent to 1,284. Shares in Federation Centres Limited (ASX:FDC) have risen 2.2 per cent and trading at $3.02. Shares in Growthpoint Properties Australia Limited (ASX:GOZ) and Mirvac Group (ASX:MGR) are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is energy falling 1.3 per cent to 11,388. Shares in Santos Limited (ASX:STO), have fallen 2.6 per cent, trading at $8.14. Shares in Origin Energy Limited (ASX:ORG) and WorleyParsons Limited (ASX:WOR) are also lower. 
 
IPOs
 
AirXpanders, Inc. (ASX:AXP) started trading today. The company is focussed on the design, manufacture, sale and distribution of AeroForm patient controlled tissue expander for breast reconstruction procedures. AirXpanders floated with an issue price of $0.50 and is currently trading at $0.50.    
 
Gold and the dollar
 
Gold is buying $US1,199 an ounce. 
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7782.