Midday: Positive momentum buoys ASX 0.7%

Market Reports

Following two straight weekly gains the Australian share market has continued the positive momentum and opened up to 0.7 per cent stronger. All major sector are trading higher with tech stocks and financials charging ahead while the miners are making modest gains. 
 
Across the stocks CSL Limited (ASX:CSL) has risen after unveiling plans to acquire the Novartis influenza business for $US275 million. Shares in Vocus Communications Limited (ASX:VOC) have lifted after announcing the purchase of a 10 per cent stake in Amcom Telecommunications Limited (ASX:AMM)
 
Figures
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index has lifted 38 points to 5,451. On the futures market the SPI is 30 points higher. 
 
Market movers
 
Shares in Antares Energy Limited (ASX:AZZ) have surged after announcing the sale of one of its core projects called Southern Star. The US focussed oil and gas explorer will sell the asset to Breitburn Energy Partners LP (NASDAQ:BBEP) for $US50 million and 4.3 million Breitburn common units. Antares CEO James Cruickshank says the company is very pleased to have executed another step in its Permian Portfolio Strategy. Mr Cruickshank says it is also fortunate Antares has received part of the payment in Breitburn common units and looks forward to working with the company in the future. Shares in Antares Energy have surged 12.94 per cent to $0.48 at noon. 
 
Shares in Alchemia Limited (ASX:ACL) have crashed after revealing disappointing phase III trial results. The drug discovery and development company’s results were for HA-Irinotecan in the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. Alchemia has advised the trial did not meet its primary endpoint of statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival. The company says it is extremely disappointed with the outcome of the trial and will now undertake further analysis of the data and review the program’s next steps. Shares in Alchemia have plunged 82.26 per cent to $0.11 at noon. 
 
Best and worst performers
 
The best performing sector is real estate investment trusts, gaining 1 per cent to 1,126. Shares in Stockland Limited (ASX:SGP) have risen 1.72 per cent and trading at $4.13. Shares in Westfield Corporation Limited (ASX:WFD) and Charter Hall Group (ASX:CHC) are also stronger. 
 
The sector with the smallest gains in materials, adding 0.2 per cent to 9,252. Shares in Western Areas Limited (ASX:WSA) have fallen 4.29 per cent, trading at $4.24. Shares in OZ Minerals Limited (ASX:OZL) and Northern Star Resources Limited (ASX:NST) are also lower. 
 
Gold and the dollar
 
Gold is buying $US1,231 an ounce. 
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.8821.

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