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  • Writer's pictureFlow Australia

Australian shares creeping higher at midday

The local share market was 0.3 per cent higher at noon as traders await the outcome of the US Federal Reserve meeting.

The local share market is modestly higher after morning trade as a Federal Reserve meeting gets under way in the United States.

At noon AEDT on Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 21.8 points, or 0.32 per cent, to 6,802.5, while the broader All Ordinaries had gained 20.9 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 6984.4.

The Fed is overwhelming expected to leave rates on hold when the two-day meeting concludes early on Thursday, Australia time, but traders will as always be carefully watching the commentary for some hint of the central bank's future direction.

Across the ditch, government figures showed the New Zealand labour market softened in the third quarter as higher interest rates took hold, with the unemployment rate rising from 3.6 per cent to 3.9 per cent and weaker-than-expected employment growth.

Seven of the ASX's 11 sectors were higher at midday and four were lower, with property the biggest mover, rising 1.0 per cent.

The heavyweight mining sector had added 0.7 per cent, with BHP up by 1.2 per cent, Fortescue climbing 1.8 per cent and Rio Tinto adding 2.2 per cent.

The Big Four banks were mostly higher, with Westpac and ANZ both up by 0.5 per cent, NAB adding 0.1 per cent and CBA flat.

Voice communications software group Symbio was up 4.8 per cent to $2.88 after agreeing to be acquired by Aussie Broadband for $262 million in a cash-and-scrip deal valuing Symbio shares at $3.01.

Aussie Broadband was in a trading halt pending an announcement of a capital raising in relation to the takeover.

In small caps, Novonix had soared 16.3 per cent to a one-week high of 78.5c after the battery material company finalised its $US100 million ($A 158 million) grant from the US Department of Energy to expand production of its graphite anode plant in Tennessee.

Paradigm Biopharmaceuticals sunk 28.1 per cent to 43c after the drug discovery company raised $30.1 million at a deep discount to fund a pivotal clinical trial of its osteoarthritis drug candidate.

The Australian dollar was buying 63.29 US cents, from 63.47 US cents at Tuesday's ASX close.


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