Midday: Aus shares defy negative lead

Market Reports

Despite negative offshore leads the Australian share market has moved into positive territory at noon. After a steady start, ahead of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s monthly meeting minutes, Aussie shares have since firmed with the miners leading the gains.

The S&P/ASX200 index has firmed 4 points and is 4,654 at noon. On the futures market the SPI is 9 weaker.

Company news: Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX:MQG) has flagged plans to expand its brokerage operations in South Korea. Among the options that the investment bank is considering, Macquarie’s Korea Chairman, John Walker, has told The Australian a joint venture in the region, a stake in a Korean brokerage or the purchase of one would increase Macquarie’s footprint in the region. Share in Macquarie Group have dipped 0.49 per cent at noon and are trading at $34.22.

Nexus Energy Ltd (ASX:NXS) says that it has completed its $122 million capital raising, having finalised the retail competent of its accelerated renounceable entitlement offer. The oil and gas producer previously advised that funds will enable Nexus to restructure the existing Longtom debt facility, fund the Crux liquids project through to a final investment decision this year, and also, pursue a targeted drilling strategy at its 100 per cent owned Longtom South major gas development prospect. Shares in Nexus Energy are steady, trading at $0.34.

Best and worst performers: The best performing sector is Materials, adding 86 points to 13,383. Shares in Gunns have gained 5.33 per cent and trading at $0.395. Shares in Cudeco and Incitec Pivot are both in positive territory at midday. The worst performing sector is Real Estate Investment Trusts losing 5 points to 841. Shares in Stockland have eased 1.45 per cent and trading at $3.41. Shares in Ardent Leisure and Charter Hall Group have also fallen at noon.

New Zealand: The NZSX50 is 6 point higher. Taking a look at the top four stocks by turnover, Telecom Corporation of New Zealand is at the top of the list with stock up 0.21 per cent at $2.35 followed by Westpac, AMP and Fletcher Building.

Gold and the dollar: Gold is trading at $US1,491 an ounce and the Aussie dollar is buying $US1.0552 cents.  

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