Midday: Aus shares track 1.8% lower at noon

Market Reports

Following weak leads from Wall Street, the Australian share market plunged into the red at the open and has now tumbled 1.8 per cent at noon. All sectors are in negative territory today, but it’s the big miners that are proving to be the heaviest weight, with BHP shedding almost 7 per cent and Rio Tinto almost 5 per cent. The big banks are also having a shocking day with NAB and Westpac losing almost 3 per cent. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 89 points lower at 4,891. On the futures market the SPI is down 90 points. 
 
Company news

AWE Limited (ASX:AWE) has reported a statutory net loss of $274 million in its half year results. AWE reported sales revenue of $122 million in what the company described as challenging conditions and a tough operating environment.  Shares in AWE are trading down 8.16 per cent at $0.45. 
 
Seymour White Limited (ASX:SWL) has reported a 34 per cent increase in revenue to $166.4 million for the 6 months ended 31 December 2015. Net profit was $200,000. The diversified contractor said its result was impacted by two loss-making projects and also reflects considerable margin compression, particularly in Queensland. Shares in Seymour White are trading flat at 0.78. 
 
Best and worst performers

The sector with the least losses is Industrials, losing 0.05 per cent to 4,883. Shares in Qantas have risen 5.41 per cent and trading at $4.00. Shares in Seven Group and GWA are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is Staples, falling 3.6 per cent to 8,441. Shares in Wesfarmers have fallen 5.2 per cent, trading at $41.35. Shares in Woolworths and Coca-Cola Amatil are also lower. 

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,230 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7199.