6:30 PM Sydney – Australian stocks rested after investors sold mining stocks and worried about the valuation of four largest banks. The dollar was firm against the U.S. dollar and Japanese yen. BHP is facing a U.S. anticorruption inquiry for its practices at the time of Beijing Olympics.
Australian stocks traded lower as investors throttled back on mining sector optimism and iron ore prices traded at a the low of the year near $144 a ton.
The ASX 200 index dropped 25.50 or 0.5% to 5,092.40 and the broader All Ordinaries slipped 24.15 to 5,104.40.
The Australian dollar edged down to $1.0304.
Rio Tinto gained 18 cents to $62.10 and BHP rose 24 cents to $35.91. Fortescue Metals Group slid 1 cent to $4.23.
BHP confirmed that the U.S. government is investigating the company for possible violations of anti-corruption laws while sponsoring Beijing 2008 Olympics games.
Woodside Petroleum up 2 cents to $36.77 and Santos lowered 2 cents to $13.12.
Blackthorn Resources soared 8% after the company said Glencore will provide $80 million to finish the Perkoa zinc mining project in Burkina Faso.
Newcrest Mining rose 62 cents to $22.30. Kingsgate up 2 cents to $4.01 and Whitehaven Coal fell 1 cent to $2.38.
David Jones Limited down 2 cents to $2.97 and Breville Group slipped 9 cents to $5.61. Billabong lowered 0.5 cents to 85 cents and Globe International closed unchanged at 39 cents.
Woolworths slid 7 cents to $35.27. Kathmandu slumped 6 cents to $1.92.
Toll Holdings closed unchanged at $5.99, Leighton jumped 28 cents to $22.15 and Mirvac Group closed unchanged at $1.65. Lend Lease dropped 9 cents to $10.20.
Westpac declined 66 cents to $30.50, Commonwealth slumped 1.7% to $69.38 and National Australia Bank decreased 1.9% to $30.95 and ANZ slipped 1.9% to $28.48.
Macquarie Group dropped 74 cents to $38.40.
Woolworths fell 0.2% to $35.27 and Wesfarmers down 1 cent to $42.49.
Qantas added 3.5 cents to $1.745 after the company confirmed that the probable strike by Baggage screening union at Melbourne Airport over Easter would not have an impact on flight schedules.