Midday: Aus shares up 1.17%

Market Reports

Following positive leads, the Australian share market opened higher and is 1.17 per cent up at noon. Buoyed by improved global sentiment Australian investors were quick off their marks in morning trade. Big banks have been leading the pack while BHP lags behind as it trades ex-dividend. 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 60 points up at 5,175. On the futures market the SPI is 76 points higher. 
Economic news

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index fell by 5.6 percent. The results were “no surprise” to the bank’s chief economist Bill Evans who expects the RBA will maintain its steady rates policy well into 2016. Meanwhile the number of home loans approved in July was in positive territory but did come in below expectations, rising by just 0.3 percent in figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. 
Company news
IOOF Holdings Limited (ASX:IFL) has become a substantial shareholder in Skydive The Beach Group Limited. The financial services company purchased on market. The total number of shares purchased accrues a voting power of 6.16percent. Shares in IOOF Holdings Limited are trading up 2.99 per cent at $9.12. 
Buru Energy Limited (ASX:BRU) has continued with the spudding on its Victory 1 well in Western Australia’s Canning Basin. The exploration is targeting conventional oil and gas on the Ungani trend in WA. Buru Energy holds an equity interest of 37.5 percent, matched by Mitsubishi Corporation. Rey Resources holds the remaining 25 percent. Shares in Buru Energy Limited are trading up 4.05 per cent at $0.39. 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Financials Ex REIT, gaining 2.4 per cent to 6,850. Shares in Henderson Group have risen 4.28 per cent and are trading at $5.61. Shares in Platinum Asset and Magellan Financial Group are also stronger. 
The worst performing sector is Staples, falling 0.4 per cent to 8,285. Shares in Tassal Group have fallen 1.32 per cent, trading at $3.73. Shares in Woolworths and Asaleo are also lower. 

Gold and the dollar
Finally, to gold and the dollar: Gold is trading at $US1,124 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7055