Midday: Aus shares are lower

The Australian share market is lower at midday, most sectors in the red with the banks dragging stocks lower and investors cautious following the latest US jobs report indicating a slower economic recovery.

The S&P/ASX200 index is down 16 points at 4,550 and on the futures market, the SPI200 is down 16 points.

In economic news: The Australian Industry Group together with the Housing Industry Association has reported that the performance of construction index (PCI) dropped to 43.3 in July, down 3.1% from the month before.

To company news: Mirvac Funds Management has advised it expects Mirvac Industrial Trust (ASX:MIX) to default on a $123.5 million debt facility. The trust must recommence negotiations so that the facilities maturity date can be extended. Mirvac Funds Management says it will keep the market informed on the debt extension process. Shares in Mirvac Industrial Trust are 9.37% lower at just under three cents.

Ramelius Resources Ltd (ASX:RMS) has announced a new agreement with Miranda Gold regarding its Angel Wing gold project in Nevada. Under the terms, Ramelius must spend US$350,000 at Angel Wing to earn a 70% interest in the project. The Angel Wing project is prospective for epithermal gold mineralisation, and Ramelius says it intends to conduct an IP survey this month to commence drilling before the end of the year. Shares in Ramelius Resources are steady at $0.43.

Turning now to market indices: Most sectors are in the red at midday. The best performing index is the Consumer Staples sector, up 64 points to 7,625. Shares in AWB are 1.89% higher at $1.08. Shares in Coca-Cola Amitil and Woolworths are also higher at noon. The worst performing index is the Financials Excluding Real Estate Investment Trusts sector, down 55 points at 5,090. Shares in National Australia Bank dropped 1.35% to $24.85. Shares in Westpac and ANZ are also lower at midday.

To New Zealand now and the NZSX50 is down 3 points. Taking a look at the top 4 stocks by turnover: Fletcher Building heads the list with stock up 0.8% to $7.60 followed by; Kathmandu Holdings, Telecom of New Zealand and Contact Energy.

To gold and the dollar: Gold is trading at US$1195 an ounce and the Aussie dollar is trading at 91.49 US cents.

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