Midday: Aus shares down 3% at noon

Market Reports

The Aussie share market is a sea of red plunging nearly 3 per cent on open following huge sell off in global markets ahead of the weekend. 
Concerns over China and a big sell off in emerging markets are inspiring fear in investors while uncertainty about the US interest rates and plunging petrol price have combined to send worldwide markets into decline. 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 146 points down at 5,068. On the futures market the SPI is 151 points lower.  
Company news
UGL Limited (ASX:UGL) has taken a bunch of write downs to post a $236.4 million net loss above expectations of a $156 million loss. UGL is planning job cuts and $33 million in savings following the sale of DTZ last year. No final dividend was declared. Shares in UGl have sunk over 5 per cent to $1.73. 
Spark New Zealand Limited (ASX:SPK) is one of the only stocks making gains after confirming a company it was providing asset financing to has been placed into receivership. Mako has been placed into liquidation and Spark says it has already make provisions against this over the past two years. Shares in Spark New Zealand have gained 0.37 per cent to $2.74. 
Best and worst performers

All sectors are down in a broad based sell off. The sector with the least losses is healthcare down 1.2 per cent to 18,008. Shares in Sigma Pharmaceuticals have risen 1.33 per cent and are trading at $0.76. Shares in Healthscope are higher while Cochlear is down.  
The worst performing sector is energy, falling 4.7 per cent to 8,735 Shares in Santos have fallen 8.57 per cent, trading at $5.12. Shares in Whitehaven Coal and Senex Energy are also lower. 

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,162 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying 72.46 US cents. 

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