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

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Australian stocks were dumped, breaking a six-day rally as investors followed Wall Street and Europe in a global selloff.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,614.60 -92.11 -1.61%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,603.50 -85.01 -1.49%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7415 -0.0005 -0.07%

On Wall St, the S&P 500 closed down 0.4%. On the local market all ten sectors were in the red.

The big banks lost ground, led by the Commonwealth, down 1.67% to $86.63, and Westpac 1.58% to $34.35. The AMP lost more than 2% to $6.30.

BHP was weaker by 2.05% to $26.27 and Rio Tinto 2.25% to $52.18. Energy stocks lost more than 2% as a group. Santos was down 2.95% to $7.25.

South32 dropped 2.19% to $1.785 after the BHP spinoff announced a writedown of $US1.9 billion on its manganese and coal businesses.

Among retailers, Myer was down 3.23% to $1.20, but JB Hi-Fi was up 0.95% to $20.91.

Tecchnology stocks retreated more than 2% with Computershare down 2.98% to $12.36.

The top stories Wednesday:

1. BHP Billiton’s quarterly update. The big miner is taking another a hit to its profits of up to $650 million, this time due to falling copper production and a slow down in oil shale in the US.

2. Biotech Novogen’s CEO resigns. The shares get smashed, closing down more than 10% to $0.21.

3. Tabcorp is being taken to court over allegations of non-compliance with rules designed to stop money laundering and terrorism financing.

4. RBA governor Glenn Stevens has left the door open to further cuts in official cash rates but warns that longer term risks need to be considered.

5. CPI. While the headline data is softer than expected, core inflation — which is central to the interest rate outlook — has come in slightly above expectations.

6. Foreign investors are continuing to scoop up Australian commercial property assets despite warnings from the RBA.

7. Spending again. Commbank’s credit card transactions show businesses and consumers out and about.

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