Midday: Aus shares gain on cooling tensions

Market Reports

Wall Street traded marginally higher overnight but it was a recovery in China and a cooling of tensions on Greek debt that seemed to spur optimism this morning, with the local bourse pushing 0.9 per cent higher by midday. 
 
Also today a recovery in the iron ore price was welcome relief to miners after yesterday’s steep falls.
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 48 points up at 5,519. On the futures market the SPI is 57 points higher. 
 
Economic news

The ABS released housing finance data for May today showing mortgage approvals for owner occupiers are down 6.1 per cent, coming in below expectations. 
 
Company news
 
Uranium miner Energy Resources of Australia Limited (ASX:ERA) has reported lower June quarter production figures after a mill was shutdown in June. The company says production of uranium oxide fell to 390 tonnes in the three months to June. The results come after the company said last month that it would not proceed with its Ranger 3 Deeps project in the current operating environment. The company says despite this discussions are continuing with the NT and commonwealth governments regarding an extension to the Ranger Authority.  Shares in ERA are trading down 2.53 per cent at $0.39 
 
Independence Group (ASX:IGO) says all of its operations maintained production within expectations for the June quarter. The nickel and copper miner says production at the Tropicana, Long and Jaguar operations are all within the FY 2015 guidance. Shares in Independence Group are trading down 0.12 per cent at $4.16 
  
Best and worst performers

All major sectors were higher today. The best performing sector is materials, gaining 1.62 per cent to 8,582. Shares in CSR Limited (ASX:CSR) have risen 3.42 per cent and trading at $3.48. Shares in Iluka Resources Limited (ASX:ILU) and Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR) are also stronger. 
 
The sector with the least gains is REIT, gaining 0.1 per cent to 1,252. Shares in Scentre Group Ltd (ASX:SCG) have fallen 0.78 per cent, trading at $3.84. Shares in Goodman Group (ASX:GMG) are lower and Investa Office Fund (ASX:IOF) is flat. 
 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,160 an ounce.
The Australian dollar has pushed up to $US0.7485.