View Comments
Gold shines in lacklustre ASX session
Gold shines in lacklustre ASX session

Australian stocks were marginally higher mid-session in quiet trading conditions, as strong gains in gold companies were balanced out by weakness in the energy and industrials sectors.

At 10.20am, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 8.9 points, or 0.2 per cent, at 4403.6 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index had gained 9.1 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 4426.9 points.

On the ASX 24, the September share price index futures contract was 13 points higher at 4402 points, with 77,128 contracts traded.

The market began the local trading day with a slender 0.1 per cent gain, following a mixed lead from Wall Street, and was little changed through the morning.

CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said investors were taking stock of the situation and assessing where the market was now headed.

"We've arrived at a level now which has reduced risk premiums and improved valuations," Mr Spooner said.

"But now, people are now looking to get a read on 'where to from here'."

Among the big movers, iron ore miner Fortescue Metals was up 20 cents, or 5.71 per cent, at $3.70, making it the best-performing stock in the top 50.

The move extends a 17 per cent rally on Tuesday, when the miner announced it had secured a $US4.5 billion ($A4.31 billion) refinancing facility from two of the world's biggest banks.

Gold stocks were also higher, with Newcrest Mining leading the way after US gold futures contract prices settled firmer in offshore trading.

Newcrest was up 2.31 per cent, or 67 cents, to $29.72.

The spot price of gold in Sydney was $US1,766.50 per fine ounce, up $US8.56 from Tuesday's local close of $US1,757.94 per ounce.

Energy stocks were the worst performers at noon with the sector down 0.58 per cent.

Making news today, retailer David Jones' net profit for the 12 months to July 28 fell 40 per cent to $101 million.

David Jones shares were down 2.5 cents, or 1.1 per cent, at $2.245.

National turnover was 787.1 million securities worth $1.4 billion, with 420 stocks up, 334 down and 325 unchanged.