Midday: Aus shares steady

Market Reports

Aussie shares are trading steady at noon after reaching a 17 month high yesterday. US markets dipped overnight, as investors expressed concern of a potential downgrade to America’s credit rating should a budget deal not be reached. 

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 11 points up at 4,629. On the futures market the SPI is steady at noon.
 
Company news

Macmahon Holdings Limited (ASX:MAH) and Leighton Holdings Limited (ASX:LEI) subsidiary Thiess have been awarded a $458 million contract to upgrade a section of the Pacific Highway. Works will include the design and construction of a four lane divided carriageway. Macmahon holds a 40 per cent stake in the JV. Shares in Macmahon are trading down 4.63 per cent at $0.26. 

Shares in Cape Lambert Resources Limited (ASX:CFE) have fallen today after news the Federal Police raided its head office yesterday. The mining company issued a statement to the market this morning claiming the raids were not related to its business. Media reports suggest Executive Chairman Tony Sage is being targeted as part of ongoing investigations with the tax office, the crime commission and ASIC. Cape Lambert were issued with a $95 million tax bill in May over the sale of its Iron ore project in 2008. Shares in Cape Lambert Resources are trading down 5.26 per cent at $0.27. 
 
Best and worst performers 

The best performing sector is real estate investments trusts gaining 9 points to 982. Shares in DEXUS Property Group (ASX:DXS) have risen 2.72 per cent and trading at $1.04. Shares in Goodman Group and Stockland are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is energy, falling 108 points to 12,322. Shares in DUET Group (ASX:DUE) have fallen 0.23 per cent, trading at $2.17. Shares in APA Group are steady whilst SP AusNet is trading higher at noon. 
 
Gold and the dollar 

Gold is trading at $US1,668 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $US1.047.