Midday: Aus shares trade 0.09% higher at noon

Market Reports

Following weak leads from Wall Street, the Australian share market opened lower and is struggling for direction in the first couple of hours of trade, tracking 0.09 per cent higher at higher noon. Overnight we saw the oil price slump once again, resulting in a sell-off in energy stocks in the US. Locally, the energy sector is suffering, but it’s the big four banks and BHP that are currently bearing the biggest weight on the market. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 4 points higher at 4,908. On the futures market the SPI is up 7 points. 

Company news
 
Alcoa Limited (ASX:AAI) has declared a quarterly dividend of 3 cents per share payable on the 25th of February to shareholders. A dividend of 93. 75 cents per share will be paid on Alcoa’s $3.75 cumulative preferred stock or ‘Class A stock’. Shares in Alcoa last traded at $12.10. 
 
Tech Mpire Limited (ASX:TMP) has achieved record quarterly revenue of $10.1 million for the December quarter. The company says this figure has outperformed expectations of $9.4 million outlined in the previous market update. Shares in Tech Mpire are trading up 11.63 per cent at $0.72. 
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Telcos, gaining 1.5 per cent to 1,967. Shares in Telstra have risen 1.77 per cent and trading at $5.46. Shares in M2 Group and TPG Telecom are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is Materials, falling 1.15 per cent to 6,152. Shares in Regis Resources have fallen 5.47 per cent, trading at $2.42. Shares in Independence Group and Nufarm are also lower. 
 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,090 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.6902.