Australian stocks were smashed.
The ASX 200 dipped below the key support level of 5000 and kept going. At the close, the index was at 4,928.60, down 100.85 points or 2.01%.
Local investors were caught in a global wave of negative sentiment. Wall Street dropped on Friday ahead of a possible US rate hike with the S&P 500 closing down 1.94% for a 3.8% loss for the week.
It was the second lowest close for the benchmark ASX 200 index since July 2013, just marginally ahead of the 4918.43 close on September 29 this year.
Among the general market nervousness, there’s gathering momentum and concern of selloffs in high yield funds, some of them so-called junk bonds. Stone Lion Capital Partners suspended redemption after a lot of investors tried to get their money back. And earlier last week, Third Avenue Management also froze withdrawals.
On the ASX today, all ten sectors were in the red with the major banks and the big miners dragging on the market, adding to the 2.3% lost last week.
The NAB was down 2.3% to $28.02, the ANZ 2% to $25.68 and Westpac 2.5% to $30.66.
BHP fell below $17 a share, dropping 3.49% to $16.60. Rio Tinto was down 2% to $42.18 and Fortescue 2.45% to $1.79.
Energy stocks lost more than 3%. Woodside Petroleum was down 2.3% to $26.41, LNG 9.6% to $0.895 and Santos 4.7% to $3.34.
Australian insurance company’s were being sold down after Suncorp said its margins were being squeezed by a bad run of natural disasters.
Suncorp was down almost 10% to $11.77, QBE 4.69% to $11.58 and IAG more than 3% to $$5.25.
CIMIC, formerly the contractor Leighton, was up 0.5% to $22.25 after announcing a buyback of 10% of the company.