Australian shares are being smashed

Australian mixed martial arts fighter Kyle Noke, part of the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), in Brisbane. Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Australian stocks fell hard.

A short time ago the ASX 200 was below the key support level of 5200, hitting 5,129.70, down 98.02 points or 1.87%.

Investors followed Wall Street where the S&P 500 closed 1.4% down on growing expectations of a rise in official US interest rates.

On the local market, all ten sectors were in the red on the third session of falls in a row.

The major banks and the big miners dragged.

Westpac was down 2.2% to $32.16 and the ANZ 2.16% to $27.21

Rio Tinto dropped 1.95% to $44.70, BHP 1.2% to $17.97 and Woodside Petroleum 2% to $28.85.

Santos gained 2.4% to $4.23, adding to its 1.72% gain yesterday after completing a $2.5 billion capital raising to strengthen its balance sheet from weak oil prices.

Among retailers, Dick Smith was down 3.75% to $0.385 on the news that the electronics store has lost its place in the ASX 200 index.

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