Midday: Aus shares wobble lower ahead of CPI

Market Reports

 
Following mixed leads from US markets, the Australian share market has seen a volatile open and slipped lower in morning trade to be 0.66 per cent down at noon. 
 
Investors are digesting this morning’s inflation figures after minutes from the RBA rate meeting released yesterday indicted the central bank is awaiting confirmation of weak CPI figures ahead of another interest rate cut. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 39 points down at 5,833. On the futures market the SPI is 52 points lower.  
 
Economic news

The ABS has reported a 1.3 per cent lift in annual CPI for the March quarter compared to a 1.7 per cent lift the previous quarter. That’s 0.2 per cent up over the three months from December. Travel & accommodation, tertiary education and medical costs all saw price increases whilst the biggest falls for the quarter were petrol and fruit. 
 

 
Company news

PanAust Limited (ASX:PNA) has delivered a strong March quarter after cutting costs and rejecting a $1.1 billion takeover offer from its major shareholder. The miner increased production guidance for gold by 12 per cent. Production targets for silver have been lifted 8 per cent. Guandong Rising Asset Management had offered $1.71 per share for PanAust. Today, the shares are flat at $1.74.
 
Novogen Limited (ASX:NRT) says that it’s chemotherapy drug Cantrixil has been granted orphan drug designation by the US Food and Drug administration. The designation allows financial subsidization for research and tax incentives as well as extended patent protection and enhanced marketing rights. Novogen hopes the drug will enter clinical testing in Australia as soon as late 2015. Shares in Novogen are trading up 28.45 per cent at $0.37. 
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is telco services, gaining 0.6 per cent to 2,209. Shares in Telstra have risen 0.97 per cent and trading at $6.25. Shares in M2 Group are up whilst iiNet is trading lower. 
 
The worst performing sector is energy, falling 1.1 per cent to 11,440. Shares in AWE have fallen 4.66 per cent, trading at $1.33. Shares in Santos and Sundance Energy are also lower. 
 

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,202 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying 77.66 US cents.