- Australian shares followed Wall St deep into the red, with the ASX down more than 190 points, or 3.2%.
- Big-name stocks were hit, with energy stocks getting smashed.
- The carnage has also flowed into other Asian equity markets, with the Nikkei down 6%.
Australian stocks had their worst day in more than two years after the global sell off hit the local market for a second session.
At the close in the US, the Dow Jones was down by 1,175 points or 4.6%, the S&P 500 by 4.1% and the tech heavy Nasdaq 3.8%.
At one stage the Dow was down as much as 1500 or 6.1%, its largest intraday points drop in history, sparked by fears that rising inflation could push interest rates higher.
Today the local market opened showing red and kept losing ground, shedding about $60 billion in market capitalisation.
The ASX200 immediately plunged below the key support level of 6000 points. At the close, the index was at 5,833.30, down 192.90 points or 3.20% — the largest percentage decline since September 29, 2015, and the second largest fall since the height of the European debt crisis in 2011.
In the region, Asia exchanges were also hit by the global slide. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 6.5% to 21,196. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng fell 5% to 30,614.
On the ASX, the banks and the big miners led the falls.
Westpac shed 3.1% to $30.33 and the ANZ dropped almost 3% to $27.88.
Macquarie fell below the $100 a share mark, closing at $97.88, down 5.3%, despite announcing better guidance for its annual profits.
The world’s biggest miner, BHP, was down 2.7% to $29.33.
But energy stocks were the hardest hit. Giant Woodside Petroleum dropped 3.9% to $32.04 and Santos 4.4% to $4.95.
Among retailers, Woolworths was off 2.9% to $26.84, Harvey Norman 2.2% to $4.27 and JB Hi-Fi 2.4% to $27.20.
Even gold miners, the traditional stocks to hold in troubled times, were struggling to stay in the green. Evolution was down 0.35% to $2.83 and Kingsgate Consolidated was up 2.8% to $0.36.
The market slide comes at the start of the reporting season in Australian when ASX companies post their half year results.
Ric Spooner at CMC Markets says the local market could outperform US markets if the current sell-off extends over coming weeks.
“The upcoming profit-reporting season could also help the local market fall less than the US if the current sell-off extends,” he says.