Following mixed leads, the Australian share market opened lower and has continued to trade down in early trade falling 1.02 per cent by noon.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 41 points down at 4,080. On the futures market the SPI is 55 points lower.
Brambles Limited (ASX:BXB) says it remains in negotiations over the divestment of its Recall information management business and unable to announce an outcome at this stage. This is the second request the pallet supplier has made to extend the completion date for the divestment. Brambles reported a 33 per cent jump in sales earlier this month, for the nine months to the end of March and expects to deliver underlying profit of between $1.02 billion and $1.05 billion in the full 2012 financial year. Shares in Brambles are trading down 2.13 per cent at $6.88.
CuDeco Limited (ASX:CDU) has received development approval for a new ship loading and storage facility in Townsville. Approval has been granted by the Port of Townsville Authority and construction will begin in late 2013. The copper miner says the facility will move and store material exported from the Rocklands Group Copper Project in North-West Queensland. Shares in CuDeco are trading flat at $3.33
Best and worst performers
The sector with the fewest losses is Health Care losing 26 points to 8,962. Shares in Ansell Limited (ASX:ANN) have risen 0.28 per cent and trading at $14.47. Shares in CSL and Ramsay Health Care were down.
The worst performing sector is Materials, falling 150 points to 9,722. Shares in Bathurst Resources Limited (ASX:BTU) have fallen 6.06 per cent, trading at $0.47. Shares in Fortescue Metals and One Steel are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,560 an ounce.
The Australian dollar has reached its lowest point since November last year, buying $US0.9770.