Midday: Aus shares retreat from highs

Market Reports

Negative leads and bearish global growth outlooks have pushed the Australian share market 0.4 down at noon. Local stocks have retreated from a 15 month high hit yesterday and followed Wall Street lower amid muted expectations for the upcoming US earnings season. 
The S&P/ASX 200 index has pulled back 19 points and is sitting at 4,486. On the futures market the SPI is 23 point lower. 
Economic news

A read on consumer confidence has lifted for the second straight month. The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment, a poll of 1200 people, lifted 1 per cent to 99.2 in October from 98.2 the month before but remains below 100 indicating pessimists outweigh optimists. 
Company news

GR Engineering Services Limited (ASX:GNG) and St. Barbara Limited (ASX:SBM) have reached an agreement to settle arbitration proceedings launched by GR last year. GR launched the case to recover costs and damages relating to a construction contract at the Gold Ridge mine in the Soloman Islands. Shares in GR Engineering Services have risen 4.84 per cent and are trading at $0.97. 
Gold One International Limited (ASX:GDO) has dismissed more than 1,400 workers from a total 1,900 work force employed at its Ezulwini operation in South Africa. The dismissal comes after a week of what the dual listed gold producer has labelled as illegal strike action which is understood to be salary-motivated. Shares in Gold One International last traded at $0.38. 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is health care gaining 61 points to 10,736. Shares in Acrux Limited (ASX:ACR) have risen 1.52 per cent and trading at $3.35. Shares in CSL Limited (ASX:CSL) are higher while shares in ResMed Inc. (ASX:RMD)‎ are lower. 
The worst performing sector is industrials, falling 26 points to 3,384. Shares in NRW Holdings Limited (ASX)‎ have fallen 4.51 per cent, trading at $1.91. Shares in SAI Global Limited (ASX:SAI)‎ and QR National (ASX:QRN)‎ are also lower. 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,762 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US1.019.

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