Midday: Aus shares flat at noon

Market Reports

Despite positive leads from the US, the Australian share market hasn’t seen a lot of movement today and is flat at noon.
 
Shares in Woodside have been a drag on markets in early trades dropping 3.64 per cent.
 
The major banks are in the red this morning while the miners have made some gains.
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is flat at 5,401. On the futures market the SPI is 4 points higher.
 
Economic news

Westpac Bank - Melbourne Institute today released their Leading Indexes of Economic Activity for the month of May. While the report suggested that likely future economic growth improved in May, it conceded that economic activity is below trend and pointed towards weak growth moving into 2015.
 
Company news
 
Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX:WPL) has confirmed that Shell Energy Holdings Australia has sold a 9.5 per cent stake in the company to institutional investors. The sale is the first half of a sell-down by Shell with another 78.3 million shares allocated to be bought back by Woodside for $US2.68 billion. The selective buy-back is subject to approval by shareholders with an extraordinary general meeting scheduled for August this year. Shares in Woodside are trading down 3.64 per cent at $41.29.
 
Atrum Coal NL (ASX:ATU) has gained four additional coal licenses in Canada taking its Groundhog Project to a holding of 26 licenses. Following approvals from the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines the coal explorer is progressing its drill target generation. Shares in Atrum Coal are trading up 2.27 per cent at $1.80.
  
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is consumer discretionary gaining 11 points to 1,774. Shares in G8 Education Limited (ASX:GEM) have risen 3.11 per cent and trading at $4.64. Shares in REA Group Limited (ASX:REA) and Domino's Pizza Enterprises Limited (ASX:DMP) are also stronger.
 
The worst performing sector is energy, falling 208 points to 14,366. Shares in Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX:WPL) have fallen 3.64 per cent, trading at $41.29. Shares in Drillsearch Energy Limited (ASX:DLS) and Karoon Gas Australia Limited (ASX:KAR) are also lower.
 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,270 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.9339.