Midday: Aus shares flat at noon

Market Reports

by Carolyn Herbert

Following weak leads from US markets, the Australian share market struggled for direction at the open and is now tracking practically flat or 0.02 per cent higher at noon. The financials space, particularly the big four banks are proving to be the heaviest weight on the index so far, with Westpac leading the losses. ANZ is the only bank bucking the trend adding about 0.5 per cent. The energy and materials sectors are higher today, following a small bounce in the price of commodities overnight. 
 
The ASX 200 is 1 point higher at 4,947. The SPI is down 17 points. 

Company news
 
Centuria Metropolitan REIT(ASX:CMA) says its portfolio valuation has increased by 3.9 per cent for the first half to $379.2 million. NTA has also increased by 8 cents to $2.05 per stapled security. The fund says gearing remains at 32 per cent which is within its target range of 25 to 35 per cent. Shares in Centuria Metropolitan REIT are trading up 0.25 per cent at $1.97. 
 
Qube Holdings Limited (ASX:QUB) has announced that its consortium has submitted a binding proposal for the acquisition of all of the issued share capital of Asciano not already owned by the consortium. The proposed transaction would enable Qube to acquire Asiano’s Patrick container terminal business and a 50 per cent interest in Australian Amalgamated Terminals, or ports. Shares in Qube Holdings are trading 0.71 per cent lower at $2.08. 
  
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Materials, gaining 0.9 per cent to 6,340. Shares in Fortescue have risen 7.19 per cent and trading at $1.56. Shares in Northern Star Resources and Independence Group are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is Financials excluding REITs, falling 0.45 per cent to 6,454. Shares in IOOF have fallen 4.51 per cent, trading at $7.84. Shares in Challenger and OzForex are also lower. 

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,123 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7023. 

Carolyn Herbert

Finance News Network
Carolyn joined FNN in August 2015 as the Head of News and also presented the Market at Midday and the Market Wrap. With more than five years of broadcast journalism experience, Carolyn has worked as a finance anchor on the Sky News Business channel and as an anchor and reporter for ABC News. She is also a qualified corporate lawyer specialising in IPOs, takeovers and mergers and acquisitions.