Midday: Aus shares open weaker

Market Reports

Despite gains on Wall Street the Australia share market opened lower and is 0.7 per cent down at 12:30.
 
US labor force data released on Friday showed the US unemployment rate was down to 5.8 per cent but seems to have had little impact on the local market
 
Commodity prices firmed overnight and it pushed the materials sector to the best performer this morning. 
 
In other major moves Westpac is down more than 3 per cent today as it goes ex dividend. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 38 points down at 5,511. On the futures market the SPI is 29 points lower.
 
Company news
 
Somnomed Limited (ASX:SOM) has reached a milestone of having fitted 200,000 patients with its medical devices since its start of operations in 2004. Executive Chairman Dr. Peter Neustadt says whilst 200,000 Somnodent devices fitted to patients is an important milestone, it is only the beginning of the company’s long term growth. Dr Neustadt says it took 8 years to reach the first 100,000 patients, two and a half years to reach the next 100,000 and the last 50,000 were fitted in only 12 months. Shares in Somnomed are trading up 2.8 per cent at $2.57
 
Land and funds manager Peet Limited (ASX:PPC) has completed a $40 million institutional placement to fund an interest in six development projects. The company says the placement had a price of $1.11 per share and that the offer was oversubscribed. Shares in Peet are trading down 2.55 per cent at $1.15. 
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is materials, gaining 0.8 per cent to 9,414. Shares in Resolute Mining Limited (ASX:RSG) have risen 11.11 per cent and trading at $0.25. Shares in Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX:LYC) and Medusa Mining Limited (ASX:MML) are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is health care, falling 1.2 per cent to 16,211. Shares in Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX:RHC) have fallen 2.33 per cent, trading at $51.91. Shares in CSL Limited (ASX:CSL) and ResMed Inc (ASX:RMD) are also lower. 
 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,174 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.8653.

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