The Australian stock market was lower at noon amid broad-based selling.
Green groups are accusing the government of doing a swift deal in allowing an Australian company a new Buller coal mine in exchange for $22m.
Stocks of interest on the Australian Securities Exchange at noon on Thursday
Job cuts are expected at the nation's largest telco after Telstra unveiled a major restructure to its business units.
The Australian share market opens lower after US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke flagged a possible reduction of stimulus spending.
Building products maker James Hardie's full year profit has fallen, as competition in the weak Australian housing market impacts earnings.
The Australian dollar fell more than one US cent after it was revealed that the US central bank has been talking about ending its stimulus program
The Australian market looks set to open lower after Wall Street finished down despite a morning rally during the early part of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony to Congress.
Stocks of interest on the Australian Securities Exchange on Thursday
Commodities news from around the world
MoreNEED TO KNOW TERMS
RESOURCES & OFFERS