AUSTRALIAN STOCKS SMASHED BY THE MINERS: What you need to know

Archie Thompson of the Victory at the AFC Champions League match between Melbourne Victory and Gamba Osaka in Melbourne. Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Australian stocks fell hard.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,271.10 -82.74 -1.55%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,335.60 -79.39 -1.47%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7502 +0.0019 +0.25%

The market slipped on falling prices for commodities, including a 4.3% drop in iron ore, and on weaker markets in the US and Europe. The S&P 500 closed down 0.9%.

On the ASX, eight out of ten sectors were in the red, winding back some of the 2.11% rise of Tuesday.

The big miners were the main drag on the market. BHP, suffering from lower iron ore prices and a massive law suit in Brazil, lost 9.3% to close at $18.79.

Rio Tinto was down 7.5% to $47.85, Woodside 5.3% to $27.10 and South32 dropped 8.3% to $1.54.

The major banks were also down with Westpac dropping 1.1% to $30.30 and the NAB 1.1% to $27.30.

The top stories Wednesday:

1. The legal action starts. Brazil has launched a BRL 155 billion ($A58 billion) civil suit against BHP Billiton and its partner Vale over the fatal iron ore mine disaster last year.

2. The winners and losers of the 2016 budget. Also: What political experts are saying about the 2016 budget. And: What startups are saying about the budget. And: A July 2 election will be confirmed within a week.

3. More bad news for Woolworths. Standard & Poor’s has downgraded its rating of Woolworths because of weak earnings from the supermarket group and intense competition in the market. The supermarket chain closed at $20.71, down 7%.

4. Clive Palmer told parliament he was leaving politics. The only problem was that he told it to an empty room.

5. The budget is bad for the share market. The budget changes to superannuation may have an unintended consequence for Australian shares.

6. The budget strategy now rests on the spending of Australian households. Warren Hogan on the budget.

7. Start paying GST on shopping at overseas websites. GST will be extended to low value goods imported from July 1, 2017.

8. Dick Smith revived. Kogan’s Dick Smith online store relaunches today.

9. Startup tax break laws. The Senate has passed new laws which will make investing in Australian startups more attractive from July 1.

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