News: Midday: Aus shares sink on Greece fears

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    Following negative leads from the US and Europe, the Australian share market opened lower and is half a per cent down at noon. A slew of half year earnings reports are also setting the market mood as investors digest the potential showdown between Greece and the Eurozone.  
     
    The S&P/ASX 200 index is 27 points down at 5,788 On the futures market the SPI is 27 points lower. 
     
    Economic news

    The NAB has reported that business confidence remains subdued in January, remaining at its lowest levels since just before the last Federal election. The survey was taken just before the RBA rate cut with NAB also moving its prediction of a second cut forward from August to May. 
     
    Company news
     
    Bionic hearing implant maker Cochlear Limited (ASX:COH) says total revenue for the first six months of the 2015 trading year was up 18 per cent to $438 million. Net profit was more than tripled to $71.4 million, coming in ahead of expectations. New products released in the last financial year are selling strongly and the board has declared an interim dividend of 90 cents. Shares in Cochlear are trading up 0.51 per cent at $88.05. 
     
    Bradken Limited (ASX:BKN) has admitted a 64 per cent plunge in underlying profit for the first half as revenues dropped 12 per cent. Declines in commodity prices and reduced spending by miners as well as the drop in the exchange rate have all added to the woes of the mining services group which also declined to pay a dividend after incurring its first ever net loss ending $93 million in the red for the six month period. Shares in Bradken tumbled 24.13 per cent trading at $2.39. 
     
    Best and worst performers

    The best performing sector is consumer discretionary, gaining nearly 1 per cent to 1,909. Shares in Tabcorp have risen 9.37 per cent, trading at $5.10 after the completion of the institutional part of its capital raising. Shares in Dominos Pizza and Slater & Gordon are also stronger. 
     
    The worst performing sector is financials excluding real estate investment trusts, falling 0.7 per cent to 7,910. Shares in Suncorp have fallen 2.23 per cent, trading at $14.48. Shares in Challenger and QBE Insurance are also lower. 
     
    Gold and the dollar

    Gold is trading at $US1,240 an ounce.
    The Australian dollar is buying 78.06 US cents.  
 
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