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News: Midday: Aus shares flat as oil dips



  1. Following weakness on overseas markets the local bourse opened lower and remains just in the red at noon. With a further slip in oil prices and continuing friction over Greek debt the ASX could be set to end a ten day run of gains.
     
    The energy sector was the worst performer today with Senex energy pulling the market lower along with the miners.  
     
    The S&P/ASX 200 index is flat at 5,777. On the futures market the SPI is 3 points lower. 
     
    Economic news

    The Housing Industry Association has shown that new home sales for 2014 rose 14.4 per cent with sales in December falling 1.9 per cent seasonally adjusted. 
     
    Company news
     
    Cockatoo Coal Limited (ASX:COK) has shown production hit almost 178,000 tonnes in the December quarter as it transitions to its Baralaba North mine. The coal miner has also completed the sale of its 51 per cent interest in the North Surat Joint venture to New Hope Corporation’s North Surat Coal for $25 million. Shares in Cockatoo Coal remain in voluntary suspension and last traded at $0.014
     
    XTV Networks Limited (ASX:XTV) has signed a $US1.8 million contract with healthcare venture Innovatv Health Inc. The media company says it has signed a five year distribution contract to help Innovatv with its focus on providing digitalised aftercare instructions on video and online. CEO Joe Ward says the success of this contract has opened discussions with other healthcare companies. Shares in XTV are trading flat at $0.03
     
    Best and worst performers

    The best performing sector is real estate investment trusts, gaining 0.9 per cent to 1,336. Shares in Charter Hall Group (ASX:CHC) have risen 1.85 per cent and trading at $4.96. Shares in SCA Property Group (ASX:SCP) and DEXUS Property Group (ASX:DXS) are also stronger. 
     
    The worst performing sector is energy, falling 2.5 per cent to 11,382. Shares in Senex Energy Limited (ASX:SXY) have fallen 4 per cent, trading at $0.36. Shares in Worleyparsons Limited (ASX:WOR) and Horizon Oil Limited (ASX:HZN) are also lower. 
     
    Gold and the dollar

    Gold is trading at $US1,274 an ounce.
    The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7746

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