A day ahead of those risk events, miners are the key driver for the market, with the major iron-ore extractors suffering from falling prices .
Thus, it’s BHP Billiton down 1.2%, Fortescue Metals down 1.3%, Rio Tinto down 0.8%, and Mt. Gibson down 2%. (Although Atlas Iron is trading 0.6% higher as it announces that the resource estimates for its Corunna Downs project have doubled.)
A downturn for gold prices is hitting the ever-volatile gold-miner shares, with Newcrest down 1.7% and Evolution down 3.1%.
Meanwhile, the big banks are just a little weaker, with Westpac and CBA down 0.1%, while ANZ and NAB are flat (and with NAB grappling with a Deutsche Bank rating cut to hold from buy).
Stock in Coca-Cola Amatil is off 0.2% after the company’s new CEO said she’s launching a management reshuffle, while on the earnings front, fertilizer and explosives maker Incitec Pivot is up 0.7% after a 7% rise in October-March after-tax profit.