The local share market is flat at midday following a positive lead from Wall St overnight as mounting expectations that the US Federal Reserve will move to stimulate the economy in its next meeting caused US stocks to rise. Firmer metals prices are also helping to lift local resource stocks today.
The S&P/ASX200 index is up 4 points at 4,629 and on the futures market, the SPI200 is up 3.
To company news: Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX:FMG) has placed its shares in a trading halt pending an announcement from the company. While it did not give a reason for the trading halt, The Australian Financial Review says the miner may be looking to inform shareholders of a $2.02 billion blowout at its Solomon expansion facility revealed in its provisional prospectus shown to overseas investors. On Monday Fortescue announced plans to sell US$2.04 billion in bonds. Shares in Fortescue Metals Group last traded at $6.20.
Transfield Services Ltd (ASX:TSE) says its order book remains strong and it is pursuing both organic and acquisitive growth to boost its capabilities in key areas. Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting chairman Tony Shepard said Transfield has emerged from the global financial crisis in better shape than before. Mr Shepard says this year has been an exciting year of change for the company, with a new CEO and a considerably strengthened management team now firmly in place and an approved corporate strategy that is already being executed. He told investors that there is significant potential in the US in oil and gas driven by the country’s aim to be self-sufficient in both, and the move to onshore production following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Shares in Transfield Services are 0.28% lower at $3.52.
Turning now to market indices: The best performing sector at midday is Consumer Staples, up 68 points to 8,219. Shares in Goodman Fielder are up 2.47% to $1.45. While shares in Foster’s Group and Coca-Cola Amatil are also higher at noon.
The worst performing sector at midday is Utilities, with the index down 51 points to 4,483. Shares in AGL Energy have fallen 1.81% to $16.31. Shares in SP AusNet and APA Group are also lower at noon.
To New Zealand now, the NZSX50 is up 13 points. Taking a look at the top 4 stocks by turnover: Telecom of New Zealand tops the list with stock down 0.49% at $2.02 followed by; ANZ, Fletcher Building and Westpac.
To gold and the dollar: Gold is trading at $1346 US an ounce and the Aussie dollar is trading at 98.5 US cents.