Midday: ASX flat at noon

Market Reports

The Australian share market is slightly higher at noon, yet to regain the anticipated ground offered by strong US leads. Reporting season continues to capture the imaginations of investor’s, with global miner BHP stocks slipping almost 2.5 per cent following yesterday’s weaker than expected profit result. 
 
Among the slew of earnings reports to come through this morning, pipeline owner APA Group more than doubled its full year net profit, Charter Hall retail saw a jump in the full year, Retailer The Reject Shop fell 11 per cent in the full year, and mineral sands producer Iluka plunged 87 per cent in the first half on the back of poor global prices. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 3 points up at 5,081. On the futures market the SPI is 1 points higher. 
 
Economic news
 
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute has released its Leading Indexes of Economic Activity for June, showing a slowing of economic growth. The growth rate of the index was 3.6 per cent in the month, down from 4.9 per cent in May however above its long term trend of 2.9 per cent. 
 
Company news
 
Boral Limited (ASX:BLD) has swung to a full year loss of $212 million, dragged down by $459 million in impairment charges and restructuring costs. The building products supplier painted a gloomy picture of the times ahead, saying it expects construction activity in Australia to be broadly flat in the current financial year. Shares in Boral are trading down 1.29 per cent at $4.21. 
  
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Utilities gaining 50 points to 5,323. Shares in Envestra Limited (ASX:ENV) have risen 1.36 per cent and trading at $1.11. Shares in SP AusNet (ASX:SPN) and DUET Group (ASX:DUE) are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is Energy, falling 136 points to 13,415. Shares in Buru Energy Limited (ASX:BRU) have fallen 3.87 per cent, trading at $1.86. Shares in Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX:WPL) and Linc Energy Limited (ASX:LNC) are also lower. 
 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,373 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $US0.9026.