Midday: ASX lower as earning season begins

Market Reports

Following weaker leads from overseas markets on Friday, the Australian share market opened lower and is 0.16 per cent down at noon as earning season kicks off locally. 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 10 points down at 5,574. On the futures market the SPI is 6 points lower. 
Company news
Australand Property Group (ASX:ALZ) says its Singaporean suitor Frasers Centrepoint has declared its $4.48 per share offer ‘best and final’ in the absence of a competing bid. The Frasers Centrepoint offer values Australand at $2.6 billion and the offer will be declared free from all conditions once more than 50 per cent of acceptances are achieved. Australand’s directors have accepted the offer in respect of all the shares they hold. Australand recently reported a 49 per cent jump in half yearly profit amid favourable market conditions in the residential side of the business.  Shares in Australand Property Group (ASX:ALZ) are trading flat at $4.51 which is 3 cents above the offer price. 
Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR) has announced it will acquire Newcrest’s remaining 15 per cent interest in the Mount Monger joint venture. The deal includes the Majestic and Imperial projects located near its Randalls mill in Kalgoorlie., Western Australia. The purchase will take Silver Lake’s ownership of the project to 100 per cent. Silver Lake will pay $1.5 million to Newcrest in two payments expected to complete in December this year. Gold sales from the Mount Monger operation have recently been ahead of guidance. Silver Lake has also put its Lakewood Mill up for sale so it could concentrate more of its operations on the Mount Monger site. Shares in Silver Lake Resources are trading up 5.49 per cent at $0.48. 

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is real estate investment trusts, gaining 0.2 per cent to 1,116. Shares in Charter Hall have risen 1.42 per cent and are trading at $4.29. Shares in Investa Office Fund and Westfield Corp are also stronger. 
The worst performing sector is industrials, falling 0.3 per cent to 4,153. Shares in Leighton Holdings have fallen 3.27 per cent, trading at $21.91 after the company reported a 20 per cent drop in first half net profit. Shares in Mermaid Marine and UGL are also lower. 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,304 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying 93.94US cents.

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