Midday: Aus shares surge on open

Market Reports

 
Following a strong lead for US markets, the Australian share market opened sharply higher and is 1.17 per cent up at noon. 
 
Banks and energy companies are leading the way on investor optimism for commodities meanwhile the Aussie dollar is surging higher ahead of the release of minutes from the RBA’s last meeting. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 60 points up at 5,197. On the futures market the SPI is 49 points higher. 

Company news
 
Dick Smith Holdings (ASX:DSH) has announced that receivers Ferrier Hodgson will close the remaining 195 stores in Australia and New Zealand progressively between April 27 and May 3 this year. The online business will continue under the retailer Kogan.com. Shares in Dick Smith Holdings last traded at 35.5 cents. They have been suspended from trading since going into receivership in January. 
 
Xped Limited (ASX:XPE) says it will acquire JCT Healthcare. Xped will help to grow the healthcare communications company through Asia and North America and the purchase will be immediately earning accretive. JCT CEO Eddie Jackson will be appointed CEO of a new subsidiary of Xped. Shares in Xped are trading up 2.33 per cent at $0.04. 
  
Best and worst perfomers

The best performing sector is energy, gaining 3.36 per cent to 7,789. Shares in WorleyParsons have risen 5.97 per cent and are trading at $6.21. Shares in Origin Energy and Oil Search are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is real estate investment trusts, falling 0.25 per cent to 1,386. Shares in Investa Office Fund have fallen 1.57 per cent, trading at $4.07. Shares in Goodman Group and Dexus Property are also lower. 
 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,230 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying 77.77 US cents. 

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