Midday: ASX bullish as gold charges ahead

Market Reports

The Australian share market has climbed 0.6 per cent to session highs after the S&P 500 hit a new record high overnight. Investors have been given a bullish boost in the wake of a US government deal to lift the debt ceiling limit and avert a potential default. 
The local goldminers are charging ahead after the price of the precious metal gained more than $40 overnight. Many local gold producers, such Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX:NCM), Silver Lake Resources Limited (ASX:SLR) and Medusa Mining Limited (ASX:MML), have put on about 5 per cent. Stronger commodity prices are also supporting the mining sector while energy is the only sector sagging in the red. 
The S&P/ASX 200 index has jumped 30.5 points to 5,314. On the futures market the SPI is 30 points higher. 
Company news
Shares in Santos Limited (ASX:STO) have slipped 1.34 per cent after warning its annual oil and gas production is likely to fall to the lower end of guidance due to technical disruptions. The energy giant has also today posted record quarterly sales revenue of more than $1 billion and confirmed its large PNG LNG and Gladstone LNG projects remain on schedule.
Shares in Linc Energy Limited (ASX:LNC) have lifted 5.24 per cent after the oil and gas producer said its total current output has now risen to more than 6,900 barrels of oil equivalent per day and affirmed its on track to achieve between 8,000 and 9,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by the end of 2013. 
Shares in CuDeco Limited (ASX:CDU) have gained 7.18 per cent after the copper explorer revealed it has secured funding through a $105 million credit facility to provide working capital until production starts at its Rocklands Group Copper Project. 
Rural investor PrimeAg Australia Limited (ASX:PAG) has advised it will stop trading on the ASX at the close of trading Monday 21 October after the Federal Court of Australia today approved a Scheme of Arrangement which will see the company acquired by private farming company Australian Food & Fibre Limited. 
Best and worst performers
Most sectors are trading higher at noon with health care notching up the biggest gains, rallying 99 points to 14,005. Shares in CSL Limited (ASX:CSL) have risen 1.19 per cent and trading at $68.24. Shares in Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX:RHC) and Primary Health Care Limited (ASX:PRY) are also stronger. 
The only major sector trading lower is energy, pulling back 40 points to 13,913. Shares in Drillsearch Energy Limited (ASX:DLS) have eased 2.46 per cent, trading at $1.19. Shares in Santos Limited (ASX:STO) and Origin Energy Limited (ASX:ORG) are also lower.  
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,319 an ounce. 
The Australian dollar is buying 96.23 cents.

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