Midday Report (12pm AEST)
The Australian market started the week's trade in positive territory after the US and European markets closed higher on Friday. The All Ordinaries opened up 16pts higher at the beginning of the session and by lunchtime the markets had added 28.6pts to 5,503pts.
Banks, retailer and S&P/ASX 200 Telecoms index moving higher.
The retail sector in focus today, at the start of trade David Jones (DJS) shares were placed in a trading halt (last traded at $3.93) ahead of the shareholder vote on $2.2 billion takeover bid from South Africa´s Woolworths Holdings Limited. The vote went well for Woolworths Holdings as David Jones shareholders overwhelmingly backed the bid with almost 97% of shares voted to accept the $4.00 a share offer well above the 75% acceptance that was needed. David Jones will still be in a trading halt until further notice while rival in the department store - retail space: Myer Holdings Limited (MYR) fell 1.75% at lunch to $2.25.
In the Materials sector stocks were mixed, Fortescue (FMG) lost ground again this morning after falling by 7.2% last week, down another 1.2% so far today. BHP Billiton Limited (BHP) added 0.7% while Rio Tinto Limited (RIO) fell back early but now up 0.6%
The US$ oil price fell away again on Friday night now at a 2 month low of US$100.49a barrel but the Aussie energy sector still did well this morning.
Woodside Petroleum Limited (WPL) announced it had bought a 70% of Beach Energy's (BPT) exploration acreage in Tanzania, Beach and Woodside shares were up slightly.
We have just had the release of the Australian lending data for May Total new lending commitments (housing, personal, commercial and lease finance) fell by from a six-year high, down by 2.8% to $67.3Billion. Lending now stands 20.1% higher than a year ago. In trend terms lending has risen for 20 straight months to six-year highs. Housing finance: The seasonally adjusted measure of construction and new purchases fell by 0.7% in May while alterations & additions fell by 0.8%. Home loans are up 10.6% on a year. While business loans are up 28.1% over the year. The Australian dollar holding steady at 0.9393 up 0.7% in early trade.
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