News: Midday: Aus shares rally

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    A strong start this morning, with the Australian sharemarket trading in positive territory at noon. European officials agreeing on measures to solve Greece’s debt woes buoying the market.



    The S&P/ASX200 index has lifted 41 points and is 4,597 at noon. On the futures market the SPI is 37 points higher.



    Economic news



    The Import Price Index increased by 0.8% in the June quarter 2011. Through the year to the June quarter, the Import Price Index decreased by 1.0%.



    Company news



    Austar United Communications Ltd (ASX:AUN) shares have tumbled in morning trade on the news the ACCC voiced concerns that Foxtel’s bid could create a pay-TV monopoly. The regulator has not rejected the $2 billion deal, but has asked for more information about the proposed takeover before its final ruling in September. Austar shares fell 18.53 per cent and are trading at $1.055.



    ERO Mining Ltd (ASX:ERO)  has announced it has entered into an agreement to farm-out an interest in tenements to Iluka Resources Ltd (ASX:ILU) to explore for heavy mineral sands. Iluka intends on spending $300,000 over two years to earn an 80 per cent interest in mineral sands. The agreement allows ERO to retain rights to uranium and other minerals. Shares in Iluka Resources have fallen 0.52 per cent and are trading at $19.03.



    Sectors



    The best performing sector is Financials Excluding Real Estate Investment Trusts, rising 96 points to 4,888. Shares in Macquarie Group Ltd are 3.3 per cent stronger and trading at $30.06. Shares in National Australia Bank and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group are also higher.



    The worst performing sector is Health Care losing 19 points to 8,603. Shares in Sigma Pharmaceuticals Ltd are 1.5 per cent lower and trading at $0.527. Shares in Sonic Healthcare Ltd and Ansell Ltd have also eased.



    New Zealand



    The NZSX50 is up 14 points at noon.   



    Taking a look at the top four stocks by turnover, Telecom Corporation of New Zealand is at the top of the list with stock up 1.35 per cent at $2.635 followed by Fletcher Building, Skellerup Holdings and ANZ.



    Gold and the dollar



    Gold is trading at $US1,590 an ounce and the Australian dollar is buying $US1.084 cents.  

    Thanks for watching the Market at Midday, I’m Melissa Beaumont Lee for the Finance News Network, have a lovely afternoon...


 
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