Midday: American jobs excite market

Market Reports

The market is 0.7% higher at midday, investors reacting positively to President Obama’s American Jobs Act.

The S&P/ASX200 index is up 30 points to 4,218 at noon. On the futures market the SPI is 28  points higher.

US economic news

President Barack Obama challenges Republicans to immediately pass a larger than expected $US447 billion jobs plan to jolt the stalled economy.

Company news

Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) says its chairman, Andrew Forrest, has spent an additional $26.8 million buying company shares. That’s almost $60 million worth in the past fortnight, and more purchasing may follow. The reason? It’s part of a plan under which his private company provides financial help for senior executives to buy shares. It’s unclear on behalf of which executives the purchases have been made. Fortescue shares have risen 0.81 per cent and are trading at $6.24.

Austar United Communications Limited (ASX:AUN) shares took a tumble following the ACCC’s plans to appeal the Federal Court’s decision on Metcash that had cleared the way for the grocer to acquire Franklins supermarkets. The competition watchdog has already outlined its concerns on Foxtel’s proposed takeover for Austar, but delayed its final decision, which was due yesterday. Austar shares have fallen 6.2 per cent and are trading at $1.135.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Consumer Staples, rising 75 points to 7,520. Shares in Goodman Fielder have added 3.17 per cent and are trading at $0.65. Shares in Coca-Cola Amatil and Foster's Group are also higher.

The worst performing sector is Real Estate Investment Trusts, easing 3 points to 771. Shares in Australand Property Group have pulled back 0.85 per cent and trading at $2.32. Shares in Stockland and Westfield Group are also weaker.

New Zealand

The NZSX50 has risen 8 points.   

Taking a look at the top four stocks by turnover, Telecom Corporation of New Zealand at the top of the list with stock rising 0.61 per cent at $2.49 followed by ANZ, Fletcher Building and APN News & Media.

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,857 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $US1.0635 cents.