Midday: Aus shares up 0.44% at noon

Market Reports

Following positive leads from US markets, the Australian share market opened higher this morning and is up 0.44 per cent at noon. The big banks are leading the charge, with all sectors in positive territory, except energy after a fall in the oil price on Friday. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 23 points higher at 5,094. On the futures market the SPI is up 26 points. 

Company news

Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX:WPL) says its surprised and disappointed the board of Oil Search has rejected the company’s proposed takeover bid, labelling it as opportunistic. Under the offer Oil Search shareholders will receive 0.25 Woodside shares for every Oil Search share, representing a 31.7 per cent shareholding in the combined entity. Shares in Woodside are trading down 2.43 per cent at $27.72. 
 
Ten Network Holdings Limited (ASX:TEN) has announced that the ACCC has released a statement of issues on the proposed acquisitions between Foxtel and Network Ten. The ACCC says it’s concerned that the acquisitions have the potential to substantially lessen competition for the supply of free-to-air television services in Australia, particularly in the broadcasting of sports content. Shares in Ten are trading up 6.06 per cent at 18 cents. 

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Healthcare, gaining 1.11 per cent to 17,979. Shares in Ramsay Health Care (ASX:RHC) have risen 4.18 per cent and trading at $61.09. Shares in Mayne Pharma and Resmed are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is Energy, falling 1.9 per cent to 8,309. Shares in Liquefied Natural Gas (ASX:LNG) have fallen 9.75 per cent, trading at $1.80. Shares in Beach Energy and AWE are also lower. 
 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,108 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying 71.29 US cents.