Midday: Aus shares track 0.6% higher at noon

Market Reports

Following a positive lead from Wall Street, finally we’ve seen some green on the screen for our local share market with the index tracking 0.6 per cent higher at noon. While the market has retreated from its strong gains at the open, the materials space has bounced back with investors picking up BHP shares, pushing them back above the $15 level. The energy space has also made some modest gains with Santos and Oil Search gaining ground. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 29 points higher at 4,938. On the futures market the SPI is up 8 points. 
 
Company news

MetalsX Limited (ASX:MLX) has extended its off-market takeover bid for all of the shares in Aditya Birla Minerals to the 24th of February.

Yesterday, MetalsX waived the 90 per cent minimum acceptance condition, effectively giving all of the shareholders of Aditya Birla an opportunity to switch their shareholding in the company to a shareholding in MetalsX at a ratio of one MLX share for every Aditya share.

The MetalsX offer has received substantial support from minority shareholders with an acceptance level equivalent to 39.36 per cent.

Shares in MetalsX are trading down 1.49 per cent at $0.99. 
  
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Materials, gaining 2 per cent to 6,308. Shares in South 32 have risen 4.42 per cent and trading at $0.95. Shares in Sandfire and BHP are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is REITs, falling 0.2 per cent to 1,258. Shares in Abacus Property have fallen 2.9 per cent, trading at $3.03. Shares in Charter Hall and Stockland are also lower. 
 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,077 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.6993.