The Australian market fell sharply again in early trade, losing the gains its made since the start of calendar 2015, before regaining some lost ground on the back of stronger than expected local jobs data.
Local investors sold down after another big drop in iron ore prices and concerns about fallout from China’s stock nosedive.
The price of iron ore dropped 10% to $US44.59 a tonne and Wall Street slumped in overnight trade with the S&P 500 losing 1.7% overnight.
On the local market, the S&P ASX 200 fell under the key support level of 5400 points, below where the index started the year in January
All ten sectors went into red following yesterdays hard 2% fall. The ASX 200 lost about 1% in the first few minutes of trade and kept falling.
It later recovered and a short time ago was at 5,459.60, down 9.93 points or 0.18%, as bargain hunters moved in. Six out of the ten sectors were stronger.
The major banks and big miners slumped in early trade with Westpac losing more than 2%. The banks later regained some of the lost value. Westpac was down 0.66% to $32.94 and the Commonwealth 0.65% to $85.21.
BHP had been down 1.42% but has since turned that around to be up 1.38% to $25.78.
Pure iron ore miner Fortescue Metals had been down 3.58% but a short time ago was up 1.91% to $1.707.
Energy stocks recovered from a combined 2% loss in value to be down just 0.71%. Woodside Petroleum was down 0.57% to $33.43 after earlier being down 1.67%.
Electricity provider Spark New Zealand, which had been was one of the few stocks to rise, was down 0.68% to $1.912.
Quickstep is one of the few stocks to rise as the carbon fibre parts manufacturer announced a global automotive parts deal. Its shares were up 7.56% to $0.185.