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. 

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. 

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.