Midday: ASX on the rise at midday

Market Reports

Despite Chinese economic concerns that sent global markets tumbling, the Australian share market opened only slightly lower and swung its way between positive and negative territory in early trade, however is now on the rise, currently sitting 0.4 per cent higher, led by solid gains in the telco sector. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 17 points up at 4,686. On the futures market the SPI is 21 points higher. 
 
Company news
 
Collins Foods Limited (ASX:CKF) has posted a 43 per cent rise in its full year net profit of $16.3 million despite the challenges of a subdued retail environment. The KFC and Sizzler Franchisee expects to return to earnings growth in the coming financial year, as new products and efficiency initiatives help to stabilise margins. Shares in Collins Foods are trading down 1.52 per cent at $1.63. 
 
Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX:NCM) came perilously close to hitting a ten year low in early trade as investors digest media reports the embattled gold producer intends to cut scores of jobs at its Lihir mine in PNG. Stocks touched as low as $9.07 this morning, their lowest point since September 2003, despite Newcrest defending its impending actions as having been on the cards since April. Shares in Newcrest are trading down 1.78 per cent at $9.36. 
  
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is Telco services gaining 11 points to 1,565. Shares in Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) have risen 0.89 per cent and trading at $4.54. Shares in M2 Telecommunications Group Limited (ASX:MTU) are stronger while Singapore Telecommunications Limited (ASX:SGT) are flat at noon. 
 
The worst performing sector is Energy, falling 185 points to 12,229. Shares in Caltex Australia Limited (ASX:CTX) have fallen 3.57 per cent, trading at $19.72. Shares in Origin Energy Limited (ASX:ORG) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX:WPL) are also lower. 
 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,282 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $US0.9244.