The Australian share market opened moderately lower this morning and slipped 0.1 per cent at noon, after US and European markets put in a soft performance overnight, as concern for the European debt crisis continues to weigh on sentiment.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 5 points down at 4,381. On the futures market the SPI is 8 points lower.
Tasmanian timber company Gunns Limited (ASX:GNS)
has appointed a voluntary administrator after it failed to secure funds to keep the company running. Lenders have rejected the woodchipper’s plans for a capital raising or restructure. Gunns issued a statement to the market that confirmed the company is unable to continue trading. The company extended its annual net loss earlier this month to $903 million, booking about $800 million of write downs.
Leighton Holdings Limited’s (ASX:LEI)
wholly owned subsidiary Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd, has been awarded a $US1.5 billion contract by Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG)
. Under the terms of the agreement, Leighton will deliver whole-of-mine management over five years at the Firetail mine, that forms part of the Soloman Hub. Shares in Leighton are trading down 0.06 per cent at $16.47. Best and worst performers
The best performing sector is telco services gaining 7 points to 1,331 Shares in Telecom Corporation of New Zealand (ASX:TEL)
have risen 1.89 per cent and trading at $1.89. Shares in M2 Telecommunications Group and Telstra are also stronger.
The worst performing sector is materials, falling 94 points to 9,892. Shares in Arrium Limited (ASX:ARI)
have fallen 6.03 per cent, trading at $0.55. Shares in Lynas Corporation and Fortescue Metals are also lower. Gold and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,768 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $US1.042.