Midday: Miners lead ASX lower

Market Reports

Losses in the US and Europe flowed onto the local market this morning with the ASX trading lower for most of the morning. 
 
The miners were a drag on the market today as the iron price continues to weaken and the gold price continues lower. 
 
The dollar was also trading below $US0.74 this morning, driven by increasing chatter about US rates pushing higher. 
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index is 5 points down at 5,610. On the futures market the SPI is 1 point lower.
 
Company news
 
Drillsearch Energy Limited (ASX:DLS) is trading lower on weaker revenue numbers despite production meeting guidance levels. The oil and gas producer says revenue for the year was down 35 per cent to $250.5 million on the back of weaker oil prices. Shares in DLS are trading down 1.52 per cent at $0.97
 
Shares in Astron Limited (ASX:ATR) have jumped as it is awarded a $31 million claim against the Gambian government. The mineral sands miner says it was awarded damages from the International Centre of Settlement of Investment Disputes in relation to a breach of a mining lease, interest and arbitration costs. Shares in Astron are trading up 11.76 per cent at $0.19
 
Best and worst performers

The best performing sector is consumer discretionary, gaining 0.8 per cent to 1,896. Shares in Crown Resorts Limited (ASX:CWN) have risen 2.28 per cent and trading at $13.43. Shares in Domino's Pizza Enterprises Limited (ASX:DMP) and Dick Smith Holdings Limited (ASX:DSH) are also stronger. 
 
The worst performing sector is materials, falling 1.1 per cent to 8,480. Shares in Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) have fallen 3.43 per cent, trading at $1.69. Shares in South32 Limited (ASX:S32) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) are also lower.
 
Gold and the dollar

Gold is trading at $US1,096 an ounce.
The Australian dollar is buying $US0.7371