Midday: Aus shares track 0.24% higher at noon

Market Reports

by David Chau

The Australian share market had a strong start this morning. The Energy and Mining sectors are doing the bulk of the heavy lifting. Other sectors including Consumer Staples and Consumer Discretionaries seem to be struggling for direction.

The local index is now tracking 0.24 percent higher at noon.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 13 points higher at 5,373 points. On the futures market the SPI is up 15 points.

Economic news

The national construction industry experienced its fifth month of declines in the last half-year. According to the May figures released by the Australian Industry Group, the construction index fell to 46.7 points (which is a drop of 4.1 points from the previous month). This means the construction industry is still in contraction.

Company news

Capitol Health Limited (ASX:CAJ) has entered a Memorandum of Understanding to provide clinical training and mentoring services to the Sunshine Union Hospital in China. The company says this is the second agreement as part of its broader strategy to participate in the Chinese diagnostic imaging market. Shares in Capitol Health are trading up 4.17 per cent at $0.19.

Pact Group Limited (ASX:PGH) has purchased the assets, brands and trademarks of the Fruit Case Company, a crate pooling business in New Zealand for $19.7 million. The company says this purchase aligns with its strategy to expand in the materials handling sector and will meet 20% ROI by the third year. Shares in Pact Group are trading up 1.71 per cent at $5.67.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Energy, gaining 1.8 per cent to 8,351. Shares in Liquefied Natural Gas have risen 18.62 per cent and are trading at $0.86. Shares in Santos and Worley Parsons are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Consumer Staples, falling 0.6 per cent to 8,431. Shares in Coca-Cola have fallen 0.91 per cent, trading at $8.67. Shares in Treasury Wine Estates and Blackmores are also lower.

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at US $1,244 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7368.