Midday: ASX higher & unemployment falls

Market Reports

Strong leads from the US helped the local share market shrug off more than a week of losses to push higher on open this morning and the local bourse is more than 1 per cent up at noon.
 
The miners were given a welcome reprieve as the iron ore price edged up and the oil price also pushed higher as supply eases.
 
And a healthy set of jobs data came from the ABS this morning showing a lower unemployment rate for May. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 59 points up at 5,538. On the futures market the SPI is 62 points higher. 
 
Economic news

The ABS has shown unemployment dropped to 6 per cent in May. It’s welcome news after last week’s tranche of poor economic figures. Full time jobs grew by 42,000 in the month.  
 
Company news
 
TPG Telecom’s Limited (ASX:TPM) takeover of iiNet has been deferred by the ACCC as the regulator seeks further details on the deal’s competitive impacts. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says it needs more time to determine whether the takeover would lessen competition in the supply of retail fixed broadband services. The regulator’s preliminary view is that the deal is not likely to raise competition concerns. Shares in TPG are trading up 1.05 per cent at $8.64 
 
Federation Centres Limited (ASX:FDC) will sell three Tasmanian shopping centres for $85 million to SCA Property Group. Settlement is expected later this month, and the total sale price represents a 4 per cent premium to the combined book value. Shares in Federation Centre are trading down 0.5 per cent at $2.96 
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is materials, gaining 1.6 per cent to 9,198. Shares in Arrium Limited (ASX:ARI) have risen 6.45 per cent and trading at $0.17. Shares in BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX:BSL) and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is consumer staples, falling 0.16 per cent to 8,719. Shares in Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW) have fallen 1.39 per cent, trading at $27.05. Shares in Metcash Limited (ASX:MTS) and Tassal Group Limited (ASX:TGR) are also lower. 
 
Gold and the dollar 

Gold is trading at $US1,188 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7783