The ASX200 fell sharply lower at the open and a short time ago was down more than 1%.
The selloff has extended to all the major sectors, following a relatively weak global lead which saw further falls in European markets.
A lower close today will mark the third straight session of declines, after the index closed at 6,049 last Thursday — its highest level since January 2008.
The heavier selloff been replicated in other Asian markets, with Japan’s TOPIX index trading flat after three days of falls, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index and the South Korean KOSPI have both seen small declines.
Falls have been led by energy stocks with the ASX200 Energy Index down almost 2.4%. Benchmark oil prices trended lower to around $US63 a barrel overnight, but remain just off two-year highs.
A short time ago, Woodside Petroleum was down more than 3%, while Santos was 2.4% lower.
The ASX200 Financials Index is down by around 0.9%, with no momentum among any of the big four banks. Westpac, NAB and ANZ are all down more than 1% while Commonwealth Bank is down 0.8%.
Both the resources and materials sectors are down, with each of BHP, Rio and Fortescue all more than 1% lower.
In a rare bright spot in today’s trade, Incitec Profit announced a full-year net profit of $318.7 million which beat analyst expectations.
It also announced a $300 million stock buyback, and a short time ago the company’s share price was up almost 7%.
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