Midday: ASX in red despite gains in confidence

Market Reports

Despite gains on Wall street the ASX opened in the red and has traded in negative territory throughout the morning. The latest consumer sentiment figures grew slightly for the month but Aussie markets have remained stagnant with industrials the poorest performer today.
Meanwhile Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX:RHC) continues to grow with an acquisition in France and shares in Downer EDI Limited(ASX:DOW) have dived after the company lost a contract with BHP.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 14 points down at 5,456. On the futures market the SPI is 18 points lower.
Economic news

Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) and the Melbourne Institute has released their Survey of Consumer Sentiment which showed a slight rise of 0.2% in June to 93.2. The rise follows stark pessimism in May that came in the wake of the Federal Budget.
The World Bank revised down its forecast for global economic growth. In its Global Economics Prospects report the bank suggests growth will be 2.8 per cent as opposed to the anticipated figure of 3.2 per cent . 
Company news
The Chairman of Leighton Holdings Limited (ASX:LEI), Bob Humphris, has announced his retirement from the construction and engineering company. Marcelino Fernandez is set to replace Mr Humphris as executive chairman while two new independent non executive directors have also been appointed. Russel Chenu will be Chairmen of the audit committee and the ethics and compliance committee. While Trevor Gerber will be the chairmen of the remuneration and nominations committee. Shares in Leighton are trading down 2.18 per cent at $19.77. 
Takeover target Australand Property Group (ASX:ALZ) is continuing talks with its Singaporean suitor Frasers Centrepoint. The industrial property investor first received an offer from Stockland (ASX:SGP) which was then bettered by Frasers Centrepoint who are offering $4.48 per share in the $2.6 billion offer. The latest move sees Frasers Centrepoint reporting to the Singapore Stock Exchange on a waiver that enables it to make its offer without shareholder approval. Shares in Australand are trading up 0.11 per cent at $4.59.
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is real estate investment trusts gaining 2 points to 1,077. Shares in Goodman Group (ASX:GMG) have risen 1.17 per cent and trading at $5.17. Shares Mirvac Group (ASX:MGR) and Westfield Retail Trust (ASX:WRT) are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is industrials, falling 57 points to 4,090. Shares in Downer EDI Limited (ASX:DOW) have fallen 12.19 per cent, trading at $4.65. Shares in Transfield Services Limited (ASX:TSE) and ALS Limited (ASX:ALQ) are also lower. 

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,262 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.9373.

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