Midday: Aus shares track 0.47% higher at noon

Market Reports

Following a mediocre lead from Wall Street on Friday, the local share market has struggled for direction this morning, but has managed to keep its head above water; tracking 0.47 per cent higher at noon. The materials space has made some small gains, with Rio Tinto adding around 2 per cent and most of the big banks are higher, apart from ANZ which has lost almost 0.5 per cent. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 24 points higher at 4,977. On the futures market the SPI is up 18 points. 
 
Company news

Think Childcare Limited (ASX:TNK) has exceeded its prospectus profit forecast by 11.1 per cent to $4.33 million in the company’s first year of trading. The result comes mainly from operating the initial foundation portfolio (30 centres) rather than via acquisitions. Think will pay a maiden partially franked dividend of 7.2 cents. Shares in Think Childcare are trading up 6 per cent at $1.06. 
 
CIMIC Group Limited (ASX:CIM) has provided the market with an update relating to negotiations between a consortium involving CIMIC and Chevron Australia in connection with the Gorgon LNG Contract. CIMIC has confirmed that a Notice of Dispute has been formally issued by the Consortium to Chevron ,requiring the consortium to enter into a further prescribed negotiation process which, if unsuccessful could lead to a private arbitration.  Shares in CIMIC Group are trading up 1.09 per cent at $29.60. 
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Industrials, gaining 1.6 per cent to 4,855. Shares in Brambles have risen 6.6 per cent and trading at $11.79. Shares in Cabcharge and Cleanaway are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is Utilities, falling 0.7 per cent to 7,022. Shares in Duet Group have fallen 3.4 per cent, trading at $2.27. Shares in Ausnet and Spark Infrastructure are also lower. 
 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,224 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7154.