STOCKS SINK: Bank shares, miners caught in ASX pullback


The Australian market was hit by a wave of selling from Wall Street, with Australian bank shares falling the hardest.

The ASX200 slumped below 5,700 points. At the close, the index was at 5,684.50, down 90.12 points or 1.56%, the largest one-day fall so far in 2017.

On Wall Street, the S&P500 fell 1.2% on the back of a rout in financial sector stocks on fears the Trump administration may not be able to push through promised tax cuts.

“US stocks suffered their worst single session since October as financials took a serious beating, their worst since the initial Brexit-driven downdraft,” according to a note from Ord Minnett.

On the ASX, the US sentiment flowed through to local banks, pushing the ASX200 below the key 5700 point.

The ANZ was down 2.5% to $30.76, Westpac 2.4% to $33.49, the Commonwealth 2% to $82.71 and NAB 1.5% to $31.71.

The big miners were caught in the slide and pushed further down by lower commodity prices. BHP was down 2.9% to $23.92 and Rio Tinto 2.6% to $60.00.

Falling iron ore and steel prices hit Fortescue Metals, sending its shares down 5.2% to $6.27. Bluescope Steel dropped 4.6% to $12.39.

Among health stocks, CSL fell 1.9% to $122.58 and Cochlear 1.5% to $130.34.

A stand out was Solomon Lew’s Premier Investments, up 4% to $14.35, after yesterday posting record half year sales for its string of fashion brands.

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