Midday: ASX 0.3% up at noon

Market Reports

The Australian share market followed a record high finish from the Dow Jones to start the day stronger and is 0.3 per cent up at noon, with energy stocks leading the gains at this stage. A decline in business confidence and conditions has seen the Aussie dollar slip, while Incitec Pivot shares are trading strongly despite a fall in full year profit. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 18 points up at 5,405. On the futures market the SPI is 20 points higher. 
 
Economic news
 
NAB’s monthly business survey has fallen sharply in October, coming into plus 5 points from plus 12 in September. According to NAB Chief economist Alan Oster, businesses may have reassessed their expectations about future activity in the changed political environment given the continued weakness in actual business conditions. 
 
The Australian Bureau of Statistics says business finance commitments went up in September, while personal finance fell. Total business finance commitments rose by 2.8 per cent to $35.8 million in the month, while personal lending commitments dipped 0.9 per cent to $7.7 million. 
 
Company news 
 
Intrepid Mines Limited (Australia) (ASX:IAU) says it plans to immediately appeal a South Jakarta District court decision relating to proceedings instituted against it in Indonesia. CEO Scott Lowe says the decision, in favour of the Plaintiff IndoAust Mining- seeking compensation and damages for alleged expenditures relating to the Tujuh Bukit project in East Java- warrants further consideration by the High Court of Jakarta. 
Shares in Intrepid Mines are trading down 1.82 per cent at $0.27. 
 
Incitec Pivot Limited (ASX:IPL) shares have jumped in early trade despite the chemical manufacturer posting a fall in its full year net profit. 
The company says it remains focused on maximising returns from its current business, after the high Australian dollar and low global fertiliser prices triggered a fall in net profit. Shares in Incitec Pivot are trading up 6.7 per cent at $2.79. 
  
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Energy gaining 178 points to 14,098. Shares in Buru Energy Limited (ASX:BRU) have risen 3.96 per cent and trading at $1.57. Shares in AWE Limited (ASX:AWE) and Paladin Energy Limited (ASX:PDN) are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is Financials excluding real estate investment trusts, falling 13 points to 7,065. Shares in Perpetual Limited (ASX:PPT) have fallen 1.06 per cent, trading at $45.85. Shares in Westpac Banking Corp (ASX:WBC) and Bank of Queensland Limited (ASX:BOQ) are also lower. 
 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,282 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $US0.9348.