AUSTRALIAN STOCKS CRUNCHED: Here's what you need to know

Tony Margiocchi/Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Australian shares fell hard, wiping all the local market gains since the start of calendar 2017.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX 200: 5,665.70 -91.55 -1.59%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,703.20 -89.09 -1.54%
  • AUD/USD:

The local market opened on a slide and kept going, dropping below the key 5700 level on the ASX200.

It was the largest one session fall since the US presidential election in November and the lowest close since February.

The ASX market followed Wall Street where the S&P500 fell 0.7% overnight on concerns that the global supply glut of oil would continue.

The major banks and the big miners led the rout on the local market.

The NAB was down 2.9% to $29.06, ANZ 1.79% to $27.50, Westpac 1.78% to $29.77 and the Commonwealth 1.75% to $80.80.

Falls in base metals and oil sent the miners down. BHP dropped 3.75% to close at $22.10, Woodside Petroleum 2.1% to $29.29 and Rio Tinto 2.8% to $58.00.

The top stories:

1. Here comes the slowdown in the economy. For several months Westpac’s chief economist Bill Evans has been warning that the prospects for the economy next year are looking “discouraging”.

2. Sydney and Melbourne property prices are about to fall. Analysis by KPMG Economics shows median housing prices in Sydney are overvalued by 14% and in Melbourne by 8%.

3. QBE issues a profit warning. Higher than expected claims from its emerging markets insurance business. QBE shares lost more than 10% to close at $11.87.

4. Gonski schools funding. The Turnbull government has the Senate support it needs but it’s cost $4.9 billion more.

5. GST on overseas online orders. The legislation was finally approved by parliament but the GST won’t kick in until a year later than the government hoped.

6. Profit growth cut. Retail Food Group (RFG), the owner of Gloria Jean’s coffee shops, Donut King and Michel’s Patisserie, shaved its forecasts. RFG shares fell more than 10% to close at $4.56.

7. Australia’s global ranking for quality of life is slipping. In the 2017 Social Progress Index, which measures quality of life and the well-being of society, independent of wealth, Australia has dropped to 9th place from 4th.

8. The winter solstice. Watch these crazy Australians swimming in the icy waters of Antarctica. Also read: So many people turned up for a nude swim in Tasmania organisers ran out of towels.

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