Midday: Aus shares slip from gains

Market Reports

The Australian share market continued last week’s momentum to open in positive territory this morning but has slipped from its early gains to be 0.1 per cent down at noon.
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 6 points down at 4,766. On the futures market the SPI is 7 points lower. 
 
Company news 
 
National Australia Bank Limited’s (ASX:NAB) British assets are reportedly in the cross hairs of Spanish banking giant Santander in a potential $2 billion bid. According to News Corp reports, media outlets in London are speculating Santander is considering a potential bid for the Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks, although no formal offer has been made at this stage. Shares in NAB are trading up 1.44 per cent at $26.73. 
 
Hills Holdings Limited (ASX:HIL) will sell its wholly owned Hills Healthcare Equipment business to Perth based home care and rehabilitation company K Care, for an undisclosed amount. Managing Director Ted Pretty says the divestment is in line with restructuring initiatives designed to better position the Hills group for the future. Shares in Hills Holdings are trading steady at $0.89. 
  
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Utilities gaining 31 points to 5,405. Shares in DUET Group (ASX:DUE) have risen 3.07 per cent and trading at $2.19. Shares in Envestra Limited (ASX:ENV) and SP AusNet (ASX:SPN) are also stronger at noon. 
 
The worst performing sector is Healthcare, falling 88 points to 11,858. Shares in CSL Limited (ASX:CSL) have fallen 1.46 per cent, trading at $53.81. Shares in Sonic Healthcare Limited (ASX:SHL) are lower while ResMed Incorporated (ASX:RMD) are trading slightly higher at midday. 
 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,688 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $US1.05.

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