Midday: ASX 0.6% stronger at noon

Market Reports

The Australian share market followed global markets in surging at open after a US budgetary deal gave investors some short term certainty. The local markets is 0.6 per cent higher at midday, with gains among mining stocks leading the way.

The S&P/ASX 200 index is 26 points up at 4,732. On the futures market the SPI is 21 points higher.

Company news

Discovery Metals Limited (ASX:DML) Chinese suitors Cathay Fortune Corporation and China-Africa Development Fund have extended the closing date on their offer period from January 11 to February 8. The Chinese companies are offering $830 million at $1.70 per share in their takeover bid, which is subject to acceptance by a minimum of 51 per cent of Discovery shareholders. Shares in Discovery Metals are trading up 0.31 per cent at $1.64.

Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) ore CEO Sam Walsh reportedly says the global miner remains committed to its cost reduction targets irrespective of market conditions improving. According to Fairfax reports Mr Walsh believes the recent rises in iron ore prices are due to short term considerations including restocking and the impending cyclone season in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. Shares in Rio Tinto are trading up 1.79 per cent at $68.83.
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Consumer Discretionary gaining 16 points to 1,381. Shares in Seven West Media Limited (ASX:SWM) have risen 2.46 per cent and trading at $1.77. Shares in News Corp (ASX:NWS) and Fairfax Media Limited (ASX:FXJ) are also stronger.

The worst performing sector is Real Estate Investment Trusts, falling 8 points to 979 Shares in GPT Group (ASX:GPT) have fallen 1.34 per cent, trading at $3.69. Shares in Mirvac Group (ASX:MGR) and DEXUS Property Group (ASX:DXS) are also lower.
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,688.80 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $US1.05.