The Australian share market is trading higher at noon - tracking 0.3 per cent higher. Big banks and miners are helping the rise. ANZ (ASX:ANZ) is up despite Group Executive Fred Ohlsson announcing he is stepping down to go to his native Sweden after 17-years’ service. TPG Telecom (ASX:TPM) shares have dropped after the ACCC delayed its decision on the proposed $15 billion merger between TPG Telecom and Vodafone Hutchison Australia. And shares in IOOF Holdings have crawled back up over 7 per cent. The Materials sector is leading the way and the Utlities sector trailing behind. The S&P/ASX 200 index is 14 points higher at 5668. On the futures market the SPI is 14 points higher.
New Zealand energy company Mercury (ASX:MCY) today confirmed that it has entered into an agreement with the Crown under which the Crown agrees to participate in any future dividend reinvestment plan or share buyback of the Company. Mercury joins the other three Government majority-owned companies in having such an agreement in place. Mercury does not have any current plan to launch a dividend reinvestment plan or share buyback. A Crown entity is an organisation that forms part of New Zealand's state sector established under the Crown Entities Act 2004. Shares in Mercury (ASX:MCY) are 2.3 per cent lower to $3.42
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Materials adding 1 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Utlities shedding 1.3 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is IOOF Holdings (ASX:IFL), rising 7.3 per cent to $4.83, followed by shares in CYBG (ASX:CYB) and Emeco Holdings (ASX:EHL).
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is TPG Telecom (ASX:TPM),dropping 14.5 per cent to $6.62, followed by shares in Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX) and St Barbara (ASX:SBM).
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1,246 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 1.2 per cent to US$66.73.
One Australian dollar is buying 72.19 US cents.