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GEM 33.5¢

News: Midday: Aus shares weighed by the banks

  1. Despite positive leads from US and European markets ahead of the weekend, the Australian share market opened higher but has since slipped to trade 0.39 per cent lower at noon, weighed down by the big four banks as earnings reports also disappoint. Shares in Bendigo and Adelaide bank have dropped sharply even though the lender reported an 11 per cent rise in underlying cash earnings. 
    The S&P/ASX 200 index is 20 points down at 5,857. On the futures market the SPI is 22 points lower. 
    Company news
    Childcare centre operator G8 Education Limited (ASX:GEM) has produced a 79 per cent rise in full year revenue to $491.3 million on the back of an aggressive acquisition program which added 203 new childcare centres to the books. Net profit was up 70 per cent to $52.7 million. However investors were disappointed by the result with analysts expecting a net profit of $63.8 million for the 12 month period. Shares in G8 Education have slipped 6.28 per cent to $4.48. 
    MDS Financial Group Limited (ASX:MWS) has formed a strategic alliance with New York-based J. Streicher Asset Management to offer asset management and new financial management products to both US and Australian Investors. The deal is also expected to focus on special offerings to Self Managed Super Fund clients. A joint venture will be established between the companies to deliver products to both markets. The development of an international stock trading product to allow inter-border transactions is also on the cards. Shares in MDS Group are trading 33.33 per cent higher at $0.003.
    Best and worst performers

    The best performing sector is health care, gaining 0.3 per cent to 18,274. Shares in CSL have risen 0.99 per cent and trading at $87.39. Shares in Sigma Pharmaceuticals and Ansell are also stronger. 
    The worst performing sector is real estate investment trusts, falling 1.5 per cent to 1,317. Shares in Mirvac Group have fallen 2.78 per cent, trading at $2.10. Shares in BWP Trust and SCA Property Group are also lower. 
    Gold and the dollar

    Gold is trading at $US1,231 an ounce.
    The Australian dollar is buying 77.78 US cents.

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