Midday: Aus shares are lower

Market Reports

The Australian share market has fallen throughout the day, dismissing positive offshore leads, to be down .6% at midday. Most indices are in the red with material stocks leading the losses.

The S&P/ASX200 index is down 32 points at 4,563 and on the futures market, the SPI200 is down 25 points.

In economic news: National Australia Bank Ltd's (ASX:NAB) monthly business survey index has fallen to 2 points in July, down from 4 points in June, and the lowest level since June last year. To company news: Oakton Ltd (ASX:OKN) has posted net profit growth for the year to June, up 42% to $20.2 million. The consulting and IT services company says revenue was steady at $186 million and EBITDA increased by 32% to $32.3 million. A fully franked final dividend of 4 cents per share has been declared by the board. CEO and managing director Neil Wilson says Oakton anticipates an increased demand for its services across most sectors and further margin improvement in the following financial year. Shares in Oakton are 3.33% up at $3.10.

Reckon Ltd (ASX:RKN) has reported a 44% increase in net profit to $8.8 million for the six months to 30 June. The software group posted a 7% increase in operating revenue to $46.5 million and says it achieved a strong result despite an unsettled global business environment. Looking ahead, Reckon says it will continue organic growth, seek out suitable acquisitions and take advantage of an ungeared balance sheet. The company has declared an interim dividend of 3.5 cents per share 90% franked. Shares in Reckon are 2.33% up at $2.20.

Turning now to market indices: Most indices are in the red at midday, though the best performing index is the Telcos sector, flat at 1,127. Shares in Singapore Telecommunications are 1.63% higher at $2.49. Shares in iiNet and Telstra are also higher at noon. The worst performing index is the Materials sector, down 126 points at 12,346. Shares in Gunns dropped 1.48% to $0.665. Shares in BHP Billiton and Lihir Gold are also lower at midday.

To New Zealand now and the NZSX50 is up 8 points. Taking a look at the top 4 stocks by turnover: Fletcher Building heads the list with stock down 0.13% to $7.59 followed by; Telecom of New Zealand, ANZ and SmartTENZ.

To gold and the dollar: Gold is trading at US$1200 an ounce and the Aussie dollar is trading at 91.34 US cents.