The Australian Stock Market Got Clobbered Today

It’s red everywhere on the ASX today. (File photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

The Australian share market slumped heavily today as investors marked down the mining sector and the major banks lost their gloss.

At one stage the S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.5% but the index bottomed out in the last 30 minutes of trading to close down 1.22% to 5,366.80.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 1.22% to 24,009 and Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.69% to 16,209.00.

The Australian market lost almost 1.8% last week, and has dropped more than 5% since the start of the month, and the selling continued today for the 11th day out of 14.

Commsec says five year year lows of US $81.70 per tonne for iron ore dragged down resource stocks.

“Junior miners are being marked down heavily in the face of recent declines,” says Commsec analyst Tom Piotrowski.

Ric Spooner, CMC markets chief analyst, says mining stocks and the downward momentum in the growth outlook for China are key variables for the Australian market.

The Commonwealth Bank was down 1.91% to $76.32, Westpac 2.44% to $32.36, NAB 2.33% to $33.11 and the ANZ 2.31% to $31.18.

Among the miners, Fortescue was dragged down 4.79% to $3.58 on falling iron ore prices and a slow down in China.

BHP was down 1.74% to $34.86 and Rio Tinto 2.35% to $60.14.

Laboratory testing services ALS Limited lost 17.22% to $5.77 on the back of a profit warning due to slowing work from mining companies.

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