Midday: Aus shares track 0.3% lower at noon

Market Reports

Following weak leads from Wall Street, the Australian share market opened in negative territory this morning and is now tracking 0.3 per cent lower at noon. It’s been another dismal night for commodities, with BHP shares hitting fresh lows; the mining giant proving to be the biggest weight on the index so far this session. Not a good day for the copper miners either, with the price of the commodity sliding to its lowest level in six years.
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 17 points lower at 5,260. On the futures market the SPI is 19 points down. 
 
Company news

Novogen Limited (ASX:NRT) announced that it has engaged Novotech as the Contract Research Organisation to conduct its Phase 1 clinical study for its drug Cantrixil which will commence in 2016. If approved, Cantrixil will be used for early stage cancers in the abdominal cavity, particularly ovarian, colorectal and gastric cancers. Shares in Novogen are trading up 5.77 per cent at 14 cents. 
 
Avita Medical Limited (ASX:AVH) has announced it has entered into agreements with specialist wound care distributors in France and in the UK. The signed agreements cover exclusive distribution of medical devices sourced from leading manufacturers throughout the world mainly for the burns, plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery sectors. Shares in Avita Medical last traded at 9 cents.  
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Telcos, gaining 0.2 per cent to 1,979. Shares in TPG Telecom have risen 1.92 per cent and trading at $10.60. Shares in Spark NZ and M2 Group are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is Materials, falling 1.36 per cent to 7,309. Shares in Independence Group have fallen 5.35 per cent, trading at $2.56. Shares in Nufarm and Western Areas are also lower. 
 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,070 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying 71.90 US cents.