Midday: Aus shares rally

Market Reports

Following positive leads, the Australian share market opened higher and is 1.5 per cent up at noon.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 58 points up at 4,114. On the futures market the SPI is also 58 points higher.

Economic news

The ABS has reported the unemployment rate is up to 5.1 per cent in May in line with expectations.

The Australian Industry Group and Housing Industry Association  has reported the performance of construction index (PCI) has contracted for 24th consecutive month. PCI dropped 0.2 points to 34.7 in May due to weak commercial activity. A reading below 50 indicates contraction.

Company news

Western Desert Resources Limited (ASX:WDR) has upgraded its resource at its Roper Bar iron ore project in the Northern Territory. The minerals explorer says the east area JORC inferred, indicated and measured mineral resource has an increased estimate of 71.6 Mt and the south area has also increased the estimate to 93.3Mt. The revised figures are based on a reinterpretation of data from drilling completed between 2009-2011. The company recently announced the NT government declared Roper Bar as major project status. Shares in Western Desert are trading up 5.49 per cent at $0.96.

Finders Resources (ASX:FND) says three of its major shareholders will provide a loan of up to $8 million in order to provide funding for the continued development of the Wetar copper project in Indonesia. Shares in Finders are trading flat at $0.28.

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Financials excluding Real Estate Investment Trusts gaining 92 points to 4,603. Shares in Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) have risen 2.78 per cent and trading at $20.91. Shares in ANZ and NAB are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Utilities, falling 56 points to 4,883. Shares in Energy World Corporation Limited (ASX:EWC) have fallen 4.94 per cent, trading at $0.39. Shares in AGL Energy and APA Group are also lower.

Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,621.35 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying 99.56 US cents.

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