Midday: Aus shares 0.57% down at noon

Market Reports

Following soft leads, the Australian share market opened lower and is 0.57 per cent down at noon with the local bourse on track for its fifth straight day of losses. Energy stocks are leading falls, meanwhile Regis Resources, Northern Star and Evolution Mining are the 3 best improvers on the local sharemarket, benefitting from a jump in the gold price.
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 29 points down at 5,094. On the futures market the SPI is 25 points lower. 

Economic news
 
The Trade Balance for November has recorded a deficit of $2.9B. Data released by the ABS came in above market consensus of a $3.1B deficit. Meanwhile the ABS Building Approvals for November has missed estimates, falling 12.7 percent. 
 
Company news
 
National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB) is ceasing to be a substantial holder in Charter Hall Group. The lender previously held a voting power of 5.04 percent in the property fund manager and developer. Shares in NAB are trading down 1.07 per cent at $28.67. 
 
Enerji Limited (ASX:ERJ) is set to deploy a heat-to-power system after finalising a 5-year contract with Northern Star. Under the agreement Enerji will supply and install a 1.5MW heat-to-power plant at Northern Star’s Jundee power station. Shares in Enerji are trading up 21.05 per cent at $0.05. 

Best and worst performers
 
The best performing sector is REITs, gaining 0.4 per cent to 1,277. Shares in Growthpoint Property have risen 2.71 per cent and trading at $3.03. Shares in National Storage REIT and Vicinity Centres are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is Energy, falling 3.3 per cent to 7,653. Shares in LNG have fallen 6.45 per cent, trading at $0.72. Shares in Whitehaven Coal and Worley Parsons are also lower. 

Gold and the dollar
 
Gold is trading at $US1,093 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7072