Midday: Aus shares steady

Market Reports

Despite soft leads, the Australian share market managed to defy the odds to open slightly higher, and is 0.21 per cent up at noon. 

Figures
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 8 points up at 5,526. On the futures market the SPI is 10 points higher.
 
Company news
 
Speculation is mounting over a possible transaction between Horizon Oil Limited (ASX:HZN) and Roc Oil Company Limited (ASX:ROC) after both companies entered into a trading halt. While no specific details have been released Horizon Oil says the announcement is in connection to a potential material control transaction which it is still considering. Horizon Oil expected to make an announcement on or before this Tuesday. Shares in Horizon Oil were trading at $0.37 before the halt
 
Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX:RHC) says its founder and chairman, Mr Paul Ramsay, has been admitted to hospital. The company is concerned about Mr Ramsay who is reported to be in a critical condition in a hospital in Europe. Shares in Ramsay Health Care are down 1.11 per cent on the news to trade at $45.48
 
The best and worst performers

The best performing sector is utilities gaining 50 points to 5,573. Shares in SP AusNet (ASX:SPN) have risen 1.48 per cent and trading at $1.37. Shares in Spark Infrastructure Group (ASX:SKI) and AGL Energy Limited (ASX:AGK) are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is consumer staples, falling 2 points to 10,229. Shares in Bega Cheese Limited (ASX:BGA) have fallen 1.35 per cent, trading at $5.12. Shares in Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW) are also lower while Wesfarmers Limited (ASX:WES) are slightly higher. 

IPO
 
360 Capital Office Fund (ASX:TOF) started trading today. The property investor floated with an issue price of $2.00, opened at $2.01 and is currently trading at $1.98.    
 
Gold and the dollar 

Gold is trading at $US1,286 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.9293.