Strong US jobs data sent Wall Street higher and the leads sent the Australian share market higher to start its trading week. Local stocks have eased somewhat to be flat at noon, with materials stocks leading gains. The Australian dollar is lower after that US jobs data seemingly increased chances of the Federal Reserve winding back its quantitative easing measures sooner.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 3 points up at 5,403. On the futures market the SPI is 10 points higher.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released housing finance data for September and it has beaten expectations. The number of home loans approved rose 4.4 per cent to 51,928 in the month, ahead of economist expectations of 4.3 per cent.
Rural services provider Elders Limited (ASX:ELD)
says it expects to post a statutory full year loss in the area of $510 million, on the back of a number of impairments and other non-recurring items. The company says it is yet to quantify the exact quantum of the loss in respect to irregularities uncovered in its International Trading businesses, however it expects to do so before announcing full year results. Shares in Elders are trading down 7.41 per cent at $0.13.
Ten Network Holdings Limited (ASX:TEN)
will not make further short or long term executive incentive payments following its earnings performance falling significantly shy of expectations. The network says in its annual review that it is establishing a new executive remuneration plan to take the place of the current incentive system. Shares in Ten Network are trading down 0.89 per cent at $0.28.
Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Materials gaining 64 points to 10,118. Shares in Sundance Resources Limited (ASX:SDL)
have risen 11.36 per cent and trading at $0.12. Shares in Orica Limited (ASX:ORI)
and Atlas Iron Limited (ASX:AGO)
are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is Financials excluding real estate investment trusts, falling 30 points to 7,093. Shares in Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ)
have fallen 1.12 per cent, trading at $32.34. Shares in Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA)
and National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB)
are also lower.
Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,284 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $US0.9381.