Midday: Wall St records lift Aus shares

Market Reports

Following last week’s 3.3 per cent gain the Australian share market has lifted 0.4 per cent into the Christmas week. Local stocks have been supported by gains on Wall Street with both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor’s 500 Index hitting record closing highs on Friday. 
 
US stocks advanced after a stronger than expected read on America’s economic growth fuelled confidence the world’s largest economy is in recovery mode. The upbeat third quarter GDP read of 4.1 per cent came just one day after the Federal Reserve announced it will start to taper its economic stimulus from 2014. 
 
Though the price of gold initially sank it has since risen back above the $US1,200 mark. The Australian dollar has also firmed following last week’s losses. Across the board the utilities sector is dragging and a series of company’s trading ex-dividend are putting pressure on the real estate sector. Financials trading higher, boosted by the Big Four Banks all on positive ground. 
 
Figures
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index has lifted 17.5 points and is sitting at 5,283. On the futures market the SPI is 40 points higher. 
 
Market movers 
 
Shares in Goodman Fielder Limited (ASX:GFF) have risen 0.77 per cent after the food manufacturer inked a $17 million deal to sell its biscuit business to Green’s Food Holdings. Goodman Fielder describes the asset as non-core to its grocery division and plans to put the proceeds of the sale to reducing debt and strengthening its balance sheet. 
 
Shares in Buru Energy Limited (ASX:BRU) have gained 5.48 per cent after the oil and gas explorer entered into an asset swap agreement with Key Petroleum Limited (ASX:KEY) concerning interests in the Canning Basin of Western Australia. 
 
Shares in Syrah Resources Limited (ASX:SYR) have jumped 11.2 per cent after the Africa focused explorer scored a 25-year mining licence for the Balama Graphite and Vanadium Project from the Mozambique Government. 
 
Shares in Boart Longyear Limited (ASX:BLY) have climbed 14.79 per cent after the provider of drilling services provided a market update – affirming its annual revenue and EBITDA guidance and noting that while market conditions remain challenging its cost cutting initiatives remain on track. 
 
Best and worst performers
 
The best performing sector is energy gaining 114 points to 13,522. Shares in Buru Energy Limited (ASX:BRU) have risen 5.48 per cent and trading at $1.54. Shares in Horizon Oil Limited (ASX:HZN) and Whitehaven Coal Limited (ASX:WHC) are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is utilities, falling 57 points to 5,296. Shares in DUET Group (ASX:DUE) have dropped 3.19 per cent, trading at $1.98. Shares in APA Group (ASX:APA) and AGL Energy Limited (ASX:AGK) are also lower. 
 
IPOs 
 
Sandon Capital Investments Limited (ASX:SNC) started trading today. The investment entity floated with an issue price of $1.00, opened at $0.95 and is currently trading at $0.97.    
 
Gold and the dollar
 
Gold is trading at $US1,202 an ounce. 
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.8929.