Midday: ASX steady as energy stocks gain

Market Reports

While US markets pushed higher on strong retail sales numbers overnight the local market opened in the red, towards midday the market recovered and is trading flat. This follows comments by RBA Governor Glenn Stevens who said that oil price falls are good news for Australia and that he would like to see the Aussie dollar down to $US0.75. The comments had an immediate impact on the local currency, and discussing interest rates Mr Stevens showed little enthusiasm for recent talk about the likelihood of an easing of rates.
Also today, in an-about-turn the energy sector was the morning’s best performer with Caltex and Santos both making strong gains.
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 4 points down at 5,227. On the futures market the SPI is 2 points higher. 
Company news
Shares in 1-Page Limited (ASX:1PG) are up more than 6 per cent on news it has signed First Republic Bank to its new employment referral system. The cloud based human resources company says First Republic is now using two of the company’s offerings and says the bank is one of the largest in the US with a market cap of almost $US7 billion.  CEO Joanna Riley Weidenmiller says the bank’s utilisation of the 1-Page referral engine is a strong endorsement of the opportunity that’s been created. Shares in 1-Page are trading up 6.02 per cent at $0.88. 
SMS Management & Technology Limited (ASX:SMX) has also made gains today as it appoints Jacqueline Korhonen as CEO while also confirming first half guidance. Chairman Derek Young says Mrs Korhonen has a track record of managing and delivering profitable growth within tech companies and she will drive improvements in operational performance. As part of the company’s AGM it was also advised that earnings for the first half of 2015 should be 40-50 per cent up on the first half of last year. Shares in SMS are trading up 3.94 per cent at $3.43.
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is energy, gaining 1.1 per cent to 10,474. Shares in Senex Energy Limited (ASX:SXY) have risen 8.51 per cent and trading at $0.26. Shares in Sundance Energy Australia Limited (ASX:SEA) and Whiltehaven Coal Limited (ASX:WHC) are also stronger. 
The worst performing sector is materials, falling 1 per cent to 8,335. Shares in Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX:LYC) have fallen 13.54 per cent, trading at $0.04. Shares in Regis Resources Limited (ASX:RRL) and BC Iron Limited (ASX:BCI) are also lower.
Gold and the dollar 

Gold is trading at $US1,225 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.8254

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