Among the majors, BHP Billiton is down 1.1%, Rio Tinto is down 1.4%, and Fortescue is down 2% — this, as Reuters reports Shanghai steel-rebar futures saw their Tuesday gains evaporate on demand concerns. And for that matter, Bluescope Steel is down 2.7%.
Also on the weak side, Macquarie is down 1.4%, though off its lows of the day, following news it will buy credit-card assets from HSBC’s local unit.
Shares of News Corp. are down 2.3%. J.P. Morgan reiterated its hold rating on the shares, citing current valuations and the transition after the firm split from 21st Century Fox.
But getting back to those weaker-than-forecast retail sales numbers (they rose 0.1% from a year earlier, vs. expectations for a 0.5% gain), the sector is broadly lower, though it’s a matter of degrees: Myer is down 1.6% and Woolworths is down 1.3%, but David Jones is down a more modest 0.4%, and Harvey Norman is off 0.3%.