Midday: Aus shares jump on Euro hopes

Market Reports

The Australian share market has built on yesterday’s gains and is almost 3 per cent stronger at noon. Buoyed by a positive lead from Wall Street and optimism that Europe is tackling its debt crisis, all sectors are adding value. Higher commodity prices have boosted the miners and energy stocks. The big four banks have all added more than 3 per cent.

The S&P/ASX200 index has jumped 112 points to 4,039. On the futures market the SPI is 111 points stronger.

Company news

Energy retailer AGL Energy Limited (ASX:AGK) has posted a 32 per cent increase in its 2P reserves for the year to June, 2011. The news comes just one day after AGL and joint venture partner Galilee Energy Limited (ASX:GLL) reported the first gas discovery at the Galilee Gas Project in central Queensland. Shares in AGL Energy have risen 0.42 per cent and are trading at $14.38.

Energy explorer Metgasco Limited (ASX:MEL) has not been able to given “a certain explanation” for the recent spike in its share price that has seen its market value add around $60 million in one week. However, it has pointed out recent corporate activity in the coal seam gas sector and ERM Power Limited’s decision to take a 6 per cent stake in the company last week. Metgasco’s shares continued to soar yesterday amid reports that’s being lined up as a potential takeover target. Shares in Metgasco have pulled back today, down 6.48 per cent at $0.505.

Best and worst performers

All sectors have advanced: The best performing sector is Materials, advancing 417 points to 11,155. Shares in Platinum Australia have rallied 9.38 per cent and trading at $0.175. Shares in Atlas Iron and Bannerman Resources are also stronger. The sector with the smallest gains is Utilities adding 20 points to 4,261. Shares in Pacific Energy have fallen 6.85 per cent and trading at $0.34. Shares in Australian Power and Gas Company and SP AusNet are also weaker.

New Zealand

The NZSX50 is 12 points 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 down 0.19 per cent at $2.575 followed by Fletcher Building, ANZ and Contact Energy.

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,638 an ounce. The Australian dollar is buying 96.53 US cents.