Taking the lead from the US where markets closed off overnight, the Australian stock market was down more than 1.1% to 5,270.8 a short time ago.
The surprise move from the Swiss National Bank overnight has got investors selling. The SNB dropped the ceiling it had held since 2011 for the Swiss franc appreciation against the euro.
The big four banks were all trading lower, with ANZ and NAB down more than 1%.
Iron ore miners are copping some of the biggest declines today with Arrium and BC Iron both off more than 6%. Rio was also down almost 1% to $53.66 a share.
As investors run for safety the gold price hit a four month high, up 2.5% to $US1259 an ounce.
On the ASX today the biggest gains were for gold miners. Northern Star was up 7.03% to $1.98 and Newcrest was up 6.59% to $12.94.
Here’s the chart.