Midday: Aus shares sink on open

Market Reports

Following broadly negative leads, the Australian share market opened sharply lower and is 0.86 per cent down at noon. A terrorist-based, hostage siege drama unfolding in Sydney’s Martin Place could impact afternoon trade with the Prime Minister scheduled to hold a press conference about the situation at 12.30pm. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 44 points down at 5,176. On the futures market the SPI is 38 points lower. 
 
Company news
 
Singapore Telecommunication Limited (ASX:SGT)subsidiary Optus says it has reached a deal with NBN co on the future of its Hybrid Fibre Coaxial network. As part of the deal Optus will transfer ownership of its coaxial cable assets to NBN Co whilst retaining ownership of the aerial fibre assets used to connect mobile base stations and business customers. Optus will continue to supply customers using its HFC network where the NBN is still to be built. Customers will then be migrated once the infrastructure is available and integrated. The revised agreement is still subject to approval from the ACCC and Australian Taxation Office. Shares in Singapore Telecomunications are trading flat at $3.68. 
 
Coca-Cola Amatil Limited (ASX:CCL) says it will go ahead with the sale of a 29.4 per cent stake in its Indonesian bottling business. The $607 million deal has now received board approval from its parent entity The Coca Cola Company. The proceeds of the deal will be used to expand production and market development in Indonesia where earning have been falling for the past few year. The agreement is still subject to Indonesian regulatory approval and approval from Coca Cola Amatil minority shareholders. Shares in Coca-Cola Amatil Limited (ASX:CCL) are trading flat at $8.92. 
 

Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is telco services, gaining 0.5 per cent to 2,007. Shares are mixed, Telstra has risen 0.7 per cent to $5.74. Shares in Singapore Telecom are flat whilst Spark New Zealand is lower. 
 
The worst performing sector is materials, falling 1.4 per cent to 8,182. Shares in Medusa Mining have fallen 8.33 per cent, trading at $0.69. Shares in Arrium and Evolution Mining are also lower. 
 
IPO's

Australian Careers Network Limited (ASX:ACO) started trading today. The consumer services supplier floated with an issue price of $2.50, opened at $1.30 and is currently trading at $1.37.    
 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,222 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying 82.13 US cents.