Wild swings for Australian stocks - but the ASX is UP

Big swings on the Australian share market today before heading higher.

Stocks dropped quickly in early trade, recovered lost ground, fell and then went up again.

The US and Europe fell hard overnight. The S&P 500 lost 3.9%, with energy stocks down 5.2% as they were hit by falling oil prices.

On the local market, all ten sectors were in the red in the first few minutes of trading but financial stocks soon picked up.

Bargain hunters moved in after yesterdays 4.09% fall.

All four banks went into positive territory with Westpac gaining almost 5% to $30.92 after losing 6% Monday. The NAB gained 4.48% to $31.04, Commownealth 3.4% to $74.96 and the ANZ 3.74% to $27.915.

BHP, which later today is due to release its annual results, was up 1.66% at $23.27.

The S&P ASX 200 initially fell 1.46% but recovered to be flat, kept going into positive territory and then fell again. A short time ago, the index was 2% higher.

Energy stocks were weaker, following falling falls in the price of oil. Santos was down 0.77% to $4.93 and Origin energy 5% to $7.57.

Investors are now looking to China, a key factor in the current global market weakness. Shanghai opens at 11.30 am Sydney time.

The global sell-off in stocks that started late last week has been anticipated by even bullish investors for some time.

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