Midday: ASX climbs on China data

Market Reports

Following mostly positive leads, and with early indications that China’s manufacturing activity is exceeding expectations the Australian share market is charging forward and is 0.66 per cent up at noon. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 35 points higher at 5,454. On the futures market the SPI is 29 points higher. 
 
Company News 
 
Shares in Ten Network Holdings Limited (ASX:TEN) have surged today amid speculation the embattled television network could be bought out by a private equity firm. Last week, Ten released its latest revenue figures and profit guidance warning that despite an improvement in its most recent ratings it still expected television revenue for 2014 to be 3.5 – 4.5 percent lower than the previous year. One-off costs associated with the Winter Olympics and Commonwealth Games will hit Ten’s bottom line this year and cost cutting measures aren’t expected to filter through until 2015. Improving numbers could make Ten Network very attractive to international private equity firms and it is believed any offers would be seriously considered by management and major shareholders. Shares in Ten Network Holdings are trading 6.12 per cent stronger at $0.26. 
 
Buru Energy Limited (ASX:BRU) has confirmed today that it has received official approval for its tight gas testing program in Western Australia’s Kimberley region. The junior gas explorer plans to test tight gas test flows using fracking technology at four existing wells. The WA government has given approval for the project to go ahead without an Environmental Protection Authority Assessment saying potential impacts such as pollution of groundwater and vegetation clearing could be overseen by the Department of Mines and Petroleum and the Department of Water. Buru Energy and joint venture partner Mitsubishi are hoping to deliver gas supplies to the WA domestic market. Shares in Buru Energy are trading up 0.43 per cent at $1.17. 
 
Best and worst performers

All sectors are trading higher. The best performing sector is materials gaining 132 points to 9,819. Shares in Atlas Iron have risen 5.81 per cent to $0.68. Shares in Arrium and Independence Group are also stronger. 
 
The sector with the least gains is energy, up 31 points to 14,452. Shares in Paladin Energy have fallen 3.33 per cent, trading at $0.29. Shares in Oil Search are lower and and the share price of Drillsearch is flat.  
 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,311 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying 94.22US cents.