Midday: Shares drop

Market Reports

Following negative leads the Australian share market has dropped 0.49 per cent at noon. All sectors are in the red, weighed down by financials, after sharp falls on Wall St at the end on last week.

The S&P/ASX200 index has fallen 22 points and is 4,561 at noon. On the futures market the SPI is 16 points lower.

Economic news:

The TD Securities-Melbourne Institute (TD-MI) survey data has shown the measure of consumer prices rose 0.2 per cent in May, after a 0.3 per cent increase the month before. The annual pace slowed to 3.3 per cent, from 3.6 per cent in April.

The Rabobank Rural confidence survey has found that although rural confidence has eased, levels are still the highest recorded for the second quarter since 2001. Commodity prices and top-up autumn rainfall encouraged optimism, and cotton producers are the most confident sector in the nation.

Job advertisements fell heavily in May. The ANZ Job Ad survey shows total newspaper and internet ads declined 6.5 per cent, but remained 8.5 per cent higher than a year earlier.

Company news:

Aquila Resources Limited (ASX:AQA) says it hasn’t yet resolved an ongoing dispute with Brazil's Vale, over the shipping of coal from its Issac Plains joint venture, IP Coal. The company told the ASX today it is still in discussions with Vale. Shares in Aquila Resources Limited (ASX:AQA) have fallen 2.45 per cent at noon and area trading at $7.97.

Linc Energy Limited (ASX:LNC) is has announced that its purchased 14 oil field consisting of 156 leases in Texas and Louisiana. The company says the immediate plan for the next 12 months is to increase oil production so as to exceed 6,300 barrels a day. Shares in Linc Energy Limited (ASX:LNC) have dropped 2.3 per cent at noon and are trading at $2.98.

Sectors:

All sectors are trading in the red at midday. The sector with the smallest losses is consumer discretionary, easing 18 points to 1,370. Shares in Austar United Communications Limited (ASX:AUN) have gained 0.37 per cent and trading at $1.35 Shares in Country Road Limited
(ASX:CTY) and Village Roadshow Limited (ASX:VRL) are both higher at noon.

The worst performing sector is Financials Excluding Real Estate Investment Trusts falling 3 points to 4,838. Shares in ANZ (ASX:ANZ) have dropped 0.61 per cent and trading at $21.24. Shares in Suncorp (ASX:SUN) and Westpac (ASX:WBC) are also lower at noon.

NZ:

The New Zealand stock market is closed today for a public holiday, trading will resume tomorrow.

Gold and the dollar:

Gold is trading at $US1,546 an ounce and the Aussie dollar is buying $US1.0737 cents.