Midday: Aus shares 1.3% higher at noon

Market Reports

Following positive leads from Wall Street, the Australian share market surged out of the gates on market open. Volumes are moderate on this Melbourne Cup day and the local sharemarket is 1.3 per cent up at noon. 
 
Financial markets are now pricing in a 40 percent chance of a rate cut at today’s Reserve Bank meeting, taking place at 2.30pm, just 30 minutes ahead of the Melbourne Cup.
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 63 points up at 5,229. On the futures market the SPI is 76 points higher. 
 
Company news
 
Metals X Limited (ASX:MLX) has come to an agreement with Southern Gold Limited regarding the commercial and legal terms of an expanded Cannon open pit development 30 kilometres east of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. The expansion has been made possible by the combination of the Cannon Mine with Georges Reward, a deposit to the north of Cannon recently acquired by Metals X. Shares in Metals X are trading up 2.86 per cent at $1.35. 
 
Alcoa Incorporated (ASX:AAI) is set to curtail its smelting and refining capacity as it attempts to remain competitive. The company announced it will reduce aluminium smelting capacity by 503,000 tonnes and alumina refining capacity by 1.2 million tonnes. Shares in Alcoa last traded at $12.22. 
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Telcos, gaining 2.1 per cent to 1,963. Shares in Telstra have risen 2.08 per cent and trading at $5.41. Shares in Spark New Zealand and Vocus are also stronger. 
 
All sectors are up. The sector with the least gains is Utilities, falling 0.4 per cent to 6,937. Shares in Spark Infrastructure Group have fallen 0.48 per cent, trading at $2.08. Shares in Duet Group and APA Group are higher.

Gold and the dollar
 
Gold is trading at $US1,135 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7156