Midday: ASX bulls charge on US Fed taper

Market Reports

The bulls are charging today with Australian share market jumping almost 1 per cent after the US Federal Reserve decided the American economy is strong enough for the central bank to start winding back its economic stimulus program. 
 
The Fed will begin to adjust its super-loose monetary policy through reducing its aggressive bond-buying program by $US10 billion to $US75 billion a month. 
 
US indices surged more than 1 per cent in response and have sparked a rally on the local bourse with most major sectors making gains at noon. The mining and energy sectors have leapt more than 1.5 per cent on the back of firmer metals prices, though the gold sector has slipped 1 per cent.   
 
Figures
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index has advanced 48 to 5,144. On the futures market the SPI is 43 points stronger. 
 
Market movers
 
Shares in Caltex Australia Limited (ASX:CTX) have jumped to the best performer, climbing 11.12 per cent. The oil refiner and marketer’s stock is being fuelled after flagging marketing business growth, offsetting an earnings warning from its refining business. 
 
Shares in Wotif.com Holdings Limited (ASX:WTF) have continued to head south, slumping to the worst performer and sinking 7.02 per cent. The online travel services provider lost more than 30 per cent yesterday after revealing a cost blowout and issuing a profit warning.  
 
Shares in ASX Limited (ASX:ASX) have risen 1.05 per cent after the operator of the Australian Securities Exchange appointed former Challenger chief Dominic Stevens to its board, strengthening the company’s capital and derivatives expertise.
 
Shares in Worleyparsons Limited (ASX:WOR) have fallen 1.88 per cent after the service provider to the mining and energy sectors revealed Melbourne City Investments has hit the company with a lawsuit concerning its continuous disclosure options following its surprise profit warning last month. 
 
Best and worst performers
 
Most sectors are making gains at noon: The best performing sector is energy advancing 184 points to 13,064. Shares in Caltex Australia Limited (ASX:CTX) have jumped 11.12 per cent and trading at $18.78. Shares in Horizon Oil Limited (ASX:HZN) and Buru Energy Limited (ASX:BRU) are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing major sector is health care, easing 4 points to 13,795. Shares in Sigma Pharmaceutical Limited (ASX:SIP) have weakened 1.6 per cent, trading at $0.61. Shares in Cochlear Limited (ASX:COH) and Sirtex Medical Limited (ASX:SRX) are also lower. 
 
Gold and the dollar
 
Gold is trading at $US1,225 an ounce. 
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.8857.