Midday: Aus shares track 1.05% lower at noon

Market Reports

Following weak leads from Wall Street on the back of another slide in the oil price, the Australian share market opened in negative territory and is currently tracking 1.05 per cent lower at noon. The energy space is leading the losses with Woodside and Santos both shedding more than 3 per cent. The financials space is also weighing heavily on the market with losses in all of the big four banks. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 55 points lower at 4,941. On the futures market the SPI is down 59 points. 
 
Economic news

The Reserve Bank of Australia will meet for its April board meeting at 2.30pm this afternoon. Given inflation is still below the RBA’s target band of 2 to 3 per cent, the general consensus is that once again interest rates will be left on hold at a record low of 2 per cent. 
 
Company news

Growthpoint Properties Australia Limited (ASX:GOZ) has confirmed it has submitted a proposal to acquire 100 per cent of GPT Metro Office Fund via a trust scheme. The company says it is looking forward to re-engaging with the directors of GPT to determine if a transaction to benefit the shareholders of both companies can be reached. Shares in Growthpoint Properties are trading down 0.32 per cent at $3.10. 
 
Origin Energy Limited (ASX:ORG) says ratings agency Moody’s has completed a review on the company and has reaffirmed its long-term senior unsecured credit rating for Origin of Baa3 (negative). The company says the review follows a reduction in Moody’s central oil price scenario. Shares in Origin Energy are trading down 2.7 per cent at $4.50. 
  
Best and worst performers

The sector with the least losses is Utilities, slipping 0.02 per cent to 6,935. Shares in Spark Infrastrucutre have risen 0.49 per cent and trading at $2.07. Shares in APA Group are up and Ausnet are flat. 
 
The worst performing sector is Energy, falling 2.7 per cent to 7,221. Shares in Liquefied Natural Gas have fallen 7.77 per cent, trading at $0.48. Shares in Beach Energy and Santos are also lower. 

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,223 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7584.