Midday: Aus shares reverse gains

Market Reports

Despite the SPI pointing to a lower start this morning, the Australian share market followed in Wall Street’s lead and opened higher. Local equities rose up to 0.4 per cent before pulling back ahead of noon.

The S&P/ASX 200 index has lifted 11 points and is 4,282. On the futures market the SPI is 12 points higher.

Company news

OZ Minerals Limited (ASX:OZL) has been selected to bid for a state-owned Romanian copper and gold mining company. The auction is scheduled for tonight and the government has set a minimum sale price of $US79.5 million. OZ Minerals is one of four parties that will take part in the auction this evening. If successful OZ expects to sign the sale and purchase agreements within 10 days. Shares in OZ Minerals have firmed 0.1 per cent and are trading at $9.60.

Gunns Limited (ASX:GNS) has increased its proposed equity-raising target to $400 million after last week admitting the Richard Chandler Corporation abandoned a proposed $150 million investment in the company due to social concerns. The Tasmanian timber company says the raising now may involve the placement of shares to new investors. In preparation for the equity raising Gunns is undergoing a review of its ongoing non-core asset sale process, bank facilities and the financial metrics relating to the Bell Bay Pulp Mill. Shares in Gunns are expected to remain in a trading halt until next week and last traded at $0.16.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Energy gaining 103 points to 14,300. Shares in Bounty Oil & Gas NL (ASX:BUY) have risen 5.88 per cent and trading at $0.036. Shares in Gloucester Coal Limited (ASX:GCL) and Tap Oil Limited (ASX:TAP) are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Consumer Discretionary, falling 7 points to 1,276. Shares in Quickflix Limited (ASX:QFX) have fallen 3.33 per cent, trading at $0.145. Shares in David Jones Limited (ASX:DJS) and Fairfax Media Limited (ASX:FXJ) are also lower.

New Zealand

The NZSX50 is 21 points higher at noon. Taking a look at the top four stocks by turnover, Sky City Entertainment Group is at the top of the list with stock up 0.26 per cent at $3.85, followed by Fletcher Building, Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and Westpac.   

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,667 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US1.0481.