Midday: Aus shares flat at noon

Market Reports

Following soft leads, the Australian share market opened lower and is 0.27 per cent down at noon. Financials continue to lag, while BHP’s strong quarterly numbers have provided miners with a lift.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 14 points down at 5,221. On the futures market the SPI is 17 points lower. 

Economic news

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Leading Index increased to negative 0.35 percent in September. Westpac chief economist Bill Evans said the current run of below trend growth rates for the leading index indicates that growth looks vulnerable.
Company news
Crown Resorts Limited (ASX:CWN) has reported a 10 percent lift in revenue from main floor gaming at its Australian venues. The quarterly results also noted the Macau market has continued to see year-on-year declines in gross gaming revenue, consistent with the second half of FY15. Crown CEO Rowen Craigie said the company will be more focussed on maximising Crown’s net profit after tax for the benefit of all shareholders. Shares in Crown Resorts are trading up 1.77 per cent at $11.79. 
GR Engineering Services Limited (ASX:GNG) has entered into an agreement with Hellas Gold. Under the the agreement GR Engineering Services will provide engineering, procurement and construction management services on Hellas Gold’s Olympias Project, located in Greece. Shares in GR Engineering Services are trading steady at $0.90. 

Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is Materials, gaining 0.86per cent to 8,198. Shares in Northern Star have risen 8.62 per cent and are trading at $3.15. Shares in Evolution Mining and BlueScope Steel are also stronger. 
The worst performing sector is Healthcare, falling 0.95 per cent to 17,925. Shares in Ramsay Health Care Limited have fallen 2.11 per cent, trading at $60.25. Shares in Mayne Pharma Group and Resmed are also lower. 

Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,177 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7269

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