Midday: Aus shares reverse early gains

Market Reports

Following largely positive leads, the Australian share market opened higher this morning but the gains were soon reversed and at noon the market was down more than 0.4 per cent.
 
The losses were led by the miners, with BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) both lower while Arrium (ASX:ARI) slumped more than 25 per cent. 
 
The announcement by the US Federal Reserve that it will keep interest rates low for a “considerable time” appears to have contributed to the selloff on the local market.
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 21 points down at 5,386. On the futures market the SPI is 18 points higher. 
 
Company news
 
Shares in Arrium Limited (ASX:ARI) have slumped more than 25 per cent as it completes the institutional component of a $754 million capital raising. The diversified miner says the institutional portion raised about $465 million as part of its $754 million equity raising which was announced on Monday. The institutional bookbuild saw new shares achieving a clearing price of $0.48 per new share. The retail component is expected to raise about $289 million and will open on Monday next week. Shares in Arrium are trading down 25.22 per cent at $0.42
 
Shares in Cynata Therapeutics Limited (ASX:CYP) have jumped today on news it has signed a license agreement with Cellular Dynamics International (Nasdaq:ICEL). The therapeutic stem cell company says the agreement will offer it nonexclusive worldwide rights to a clinical grade, human induced stem cell line manufactured by CDI. The company plans to use the line in manufacturing its Cymerus stem cell products for human therapeutic use. Shares in Cynata are trading up 8.75 per cent at $0.43 
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is real estate investment trusts, gaining 0.6 per cent to 1,084. Shares in Westfield Corporation Limited (ASX:WFD) have risen 2.35 per cent and trading at $7.41. Shares in Mirvac Group (ASX:MGR) and DEXUS Property Group (ASX:DXS) are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is materials, falling 1 per cent to 9,659. Shares in Arrium Limited (ASX:ARI) have fallen 25.22 per cent, trading at $0.42. Shares in Medusa Mining Limited (ASX:MML) and Northern Star Resources Limited (ASX:NST) are also lower. 
 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,224 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.8967