Midday: ASX sinks despite miner gains

Market Reports


Despite strong gains in mining companies the ASX has failed to find heart opening lower and trading 0.67 per cent down at noon. 
 
BHP and Rio Tinto saw overnight gains of 10 per cent on the London Stock Exchange and are enjoying more investor sunshine this morning with much of the material sector posting gains.  
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 32 points down at 4,949. On the futures market the SPI is 36 points lower. 
 
Company news

News Corp (ASX:NWS) has seen a 20 per cent slump in the traditional media business of newspapers and television with the company reporting Q2 profit of just $389 million. Half year profit was down 18 per cent. Currency moves also hurt the bottom line however the digital real estate division saw profit growth of 28 per cent. Shares in News Corp are trading 5.5 per cent down at $17.02. 
 
And TPG Telecom Limited (ASX:TPM) says it has successfully bid $84.7 million for the spectrum in the 1800MHz band. The investment will see the fast growing internet company translate growth from fixed line broadband sector into the wireless arena. 
Shares in TPG are trading 1.43 per cent higher at $10.29. 
 
Best and worse performers

The best performing sector is materials, gaining 1.5 per cent to 6,557. Shares in Evolution Mining have risen 5.57 per cent and trading at $1.61. Shares in Northern Star and Iluka Resources are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is staples, falling 2.1 per cent to 8,595. Shares in Treasury Wine Estates have fallen 3.87 per cent, trading at $8.70. Shares in Select Harvests and Woolworths are also lower. 
 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,155 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying 71.98 US cents.