Midday: ASX faces strong headwinds

Market Reports


Following volatile trade in the US overnight and a plunge across the board in European markets the Australian share market opened lower and is 1.58 per cent down at noon. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 71 points down at 5,175. On the futures market the SPI is 64 points lower 

Company news
 
Ten Network Holdings (ASX:TEN) has reported a 40 per cent improvement in performance narrowing its loss to $168 million from a loss of $284 million last year. Analysts were expecting a net loss after tax of about $76 million. Ten reported a 4.2 per cent fall in television revenue and a 7 per cent rise in TV costs as well as write downs of about $54 million. CEO Hamish McLennan says the company remains firmly focused on executing its strategic plan and has just recorded its first audience growth since 2011. Shares in Ten Network are trading 1.32 per cent higher at $0.19.
 
WDS Limited (ASX:WDS) says it has appointed a team of external advisors to review business strategy and set a 5 year growth plan. CEO Terry Chapman recently agreed to step down once a suitable candidate is found to allow a new CEO to take charge of the company turnaround. Ex-Leighton Holdings senior executives Laurie Voyer, Barry Glendenning and David Plowman will work together to provide an analysis of the business and provide direction for the future of the company. Shares in the mining services provider were trading at 80 cents earlier this month ahead of profit downgrade last week following the loss of a key contract. Shares in the company are 3.03 per cent weaker at $0.32 today. 
  
Best and worst performers

Sectors are down across the board. The sector with the least losses is telco services, gaining 0.7 per cent to 1,876. Shares in Telstra have dipped 0.65 per cent to $5.34. Shares in Singapore Telecom and Spark New Zealand are also softer.  
 
The worst performing sector is materials, falling 2.2 per cent to 9,032. Shares in PanAust have fallen 6.97 per cent, trading at $1.77. Shares in Sirius Resources and Arrium are also lower. 
 
IPOs

Anatara Lifesciences Limited (ASX:ANR) started trading today. The non-antibiotic treatment provider floated with an issue price of $0.50, opened at $0.49 and is currently trading at $0.37.    
 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,243 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying 88.00 US cents.
 
ng its loss to $168 million