The Australia 200 index is hovering around yesterday’s close despite negative leads and a resources down draft. Mining and energy stock are under pressure, in contrast to financial shares. Bank CEO’s may find the Senate’s banking inquiry hearings uncomfortable but investors appear unfazed. However important data due mid-session may change the course of trading.

Oil slumped overnight after news of a massive 8.5 million barrel build in US inventories. Iron ore and base metals also dropped, and to make matters worse for investors BHP and South 32 are trading ex-dividend. The dividend component of BHP’s fall alone accounts for around 5 negative index points. Bizarrely gold stocks are up despite further falls in the yellow metal overnight. Investors may look to inflation data from China today to short circuit the selling.

The financials index wobbled on Monday and Tuesday but today’s 0.75% gain means it stands 1.5% higher than when this week’s inquisition began. Consumer discretionary stocks are also in favour, with gaming stocks leading the charge. Volumes are below average ahead of tomorrow night’s all-important non-farm payrolls read.