The International Monetary Fund has cut its global growth forecast for 2013, citing ongoing concerns about the eurozone economies.
The IMF is projecting a global GDP growth rate of 3.5% this year, down 0.1 points from October, followed by 4.1% growth in 2014.
The IMF predicts eurozone GDP will contract by 0.2% this year, rather than growing at 0.2% as initially predicted, marking the second straight year of recession for the 17 nation economy.
BHP set to write down nearly $4 billion in nickel and aluminium
BHP Billiton is expected to write down the value of its nickel and aluminium assets by $3.8 billion next month, citing weak prices and the strong Australian dollar.
Analysts expect the businesses to report losses of about $600 million this financial year.
While the mining giant notes demand for iron ore and petroleum remains strong, some analysts anticipate the mining giant will slash some of its nickel and aluminium assets in 2013.
Qantas set to cut more jobs
Qantas is asking for voluntary redundancies among its ground staff at the Sydney Airport international terminal after losing a multi-million dollar contract with Air New Zealand.
Previously, Qantas has supplied ground handling services for Air New Zealand at airports in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, but that arrangement is set to end in March.
The Sydney Airport staff at risk include baggage handlers and check-in staff.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.54% to 13785.61. The Aussie dollar is down to US105.47 cents.