Midday: ASX starts FY with a whimper

Market Reports

The Australian share market opened the new financial year with a slip following soft finishes in offshore markets and is 1.6 per cent down at noon. The Aussie dollar fell to its weakest level in 34 months this morning however has eased somewhat on some growth was seen in manufacturing data. All the major sectors are in the red at this stage. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 78 points down at 4,725. On the futures market the SPI is 82 points lower. 
 
Economic news

The Australian Industry Group says the manufacturing sector nudged growth in June, rising 5.8 points to 49.6. The Index is now just below the 50 threshold that seperates contraction and expansion in the sector. The AIG says the RBA’s cash rate reductions appear to be supporting local demand, however export conditions remain extremely challenging. 
 
The TD Securities-Melbourne Institute’s monthly inflation gauge was subdued in June, coming in flat following a 0.3 per cent increase in May. For the 12 months to June, the inflation rate was 2.4 per cent, smack bang in the middle of the RBA’s 2-3 per cent target range. 
 
The RP Data-Rismark Home Value Index says capital city home values saw a rise of 3.8 per cent over the last financial year, bouncing back from a 3.6 per cent fall in fiscal 2012. House prices rose in every capital except for Hobart, with Darwin seeing the strongest increase. 
 
Company news 
 
Wilson HTM Investment Group Limited (ASX:WIG) has entered a trading halt as it completes discussions with management over a misconduct  investigation into CEO Andrew Coppin. The trading halt will remain until the commencement of trading this Wednesday at the latest. Shares in Wilson HTM last traded at $0.18. 
 
Discovery Metals Limited (ASX:DML) has informed shareholders that it continues to be in discussions with interested parties relating to a potential change of control transaction. The company says lenders have provided further support, agreeing to default arrangements for outstanding equity contributions if a suitable bid is not recommended by the end of this month. Shares in Discovery Metals are trading 3.7 per cent up at $0.14. 
  
Best and worst performers

All sectors are currently down. The sector with the fewest losses is Telco services, shedding 5 points to 1,642. Shares in Singapore Telecommunications Limited (ASX:SGT) have risen 1.42 per cent and trading at $3.21. Shares in Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) and Telecom Corp of New Zealand (ASX:TEL) are both weaker at noon.  
 
The worst performing sector is Energy, falling 231 points to 12,277. Shares in Origin Energy Limited (ASX:ORG) have fallen 3.58 per cent, trading at $12.12. Shares in Aurora Oil & Gas Limited (ASX:AUT) and Caltex Australia Limited (ASX:CTX) are also lower. 
 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,231 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $US0.9161 after hitting its low of $US0.911 early this morning.