Midday: Aus shares up

Market Reports

The Australian share market’s up more than 1.5 per cent at midday, with thanks to a strong lead from Wall Street and positive signs the eurozone leaders are getting closer to resolving the debt crisis.

The S&P/ASX200 index is up 66 points to 4,272. On the futures market the SPI is 57 points higher.

Economic news

Sales of new motor vehicles in Australia have fallen 1.5 per cent in the month of September, according to data from Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The Bureau also said Business lending lifted in August. Commercial finance commitments rose two per cent, seasonally adjusted, to $32.948 billion in the month.

Company news

Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW) has responded to media reports that it is planning a $500 million debt raising with confirmation its considering a number of alternatives as part of its ongoing management strategy, including an issue of a hybrid security. Th eretailer said the board hasn’t made any decision though to undertake any capital raising. Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW) shares are up 0.69 per cent at $24.66.

Transurban Group’s (ASX:TCL) largest investors have reportedly been advised by CGI Glass Lewis to vote against its remuneration report at next week’s AGM because it believes the board hasn’t done enough to deal with “outstanding concerns” about executive pay. The adviser said Transurban’s chief executive Chris Lynch gets paid more than twice what his counterparts at similar sized companies. Shares in Transurban Group (ASX:TCL) shares are up 2.2 per cent at $5.57.

Best and worst performing sectors

Materials is the best performer at midday, up 240 points to 11,815. Shares in Gunns have added 11.9 per cent and trading at 23.5 cents. Shares in Sundance and BHP have also firmed.

Consumer staples is the worst performing sector, but its still up 60 points to 7,600. Shares in Foster’s are steady at $5.29. Shares in Woolworths and Coca-Cola are also higher.

New Zealand

The NZSX50 has risen 16 points. The top four stocks by turnover are Fletcher Building with stock up 0.75 per cent at $6.75 followed by Westpac, Telecom Corporation of New Zealand, and ANZ.

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,679 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying US$1.317.