Midday: Aus shares track 0.18% lower at noon

Market Reports

Following a positive close on Wall Street on Friday, the Australian share market opened in the black, but has since lost all momentum and is currently tracking 0.18 per cent lower at noon. The financials space is proving to be the biggest drag on the market with losses in all of the big four banks. The materials space is painting a bit of a mixed picture with losses in BHP, but an almost 1 per cent gain in Rio Tinto. The energy sector is well and truly in the red after another fall in the oil price, with Origin Energy leading the losses down about 2.5 per cent. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 8 points lower at 5,175. On the futures market the SPI is down 2 points. 
 
Company news

AusNet Services Limited (ASX:AST) has successfully priced a 875 billion Hong Kong dollar 12-year bond issue to raise approximately $148 million. The company says the proceeds will be used to refinance existing debt and to fund capital expenditure. Shares in AusNet Services are trading up 1.53 per cent at $1.50. 
 
Norwood Systems Limited (ASX:NOR) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Vietnam Posts Telecommunications Group (VNPT). The partnership will see the World Phone app offered to VNPT’s customers, and further see VNPT’s fixed line network integrated into Norwood’s global federated Telco network. Shares in Norwood Systems are trading 20.45 per cent higher at 5.3 cents.  
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Healthcare, gaining 0.8 per cent to 19,154. Shares in Mesoblast have risen 4.07 per cent and trading at $2.81. Shares in Auspharma and Resmed are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is Energy, falling 1.24 per cent to 7,885. Shares in Beach Energy have fallen 5.1 per cent, trading at $0.70. Shares in AWE and Whitehaven Coal are also lower. 

IPOs

Soon Mining Limited (ASX:SMG) started trading today. The gold miner floated with an issue price of $0.20, opened at $0.20 and is currently trading at $0.18.    

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,255 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7585.