AUSTRALIAN STOCKS EXTEND LOSING STREAK: Here's what you need to know

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The recent downturn continued on the ASX200 today, as the local market closed lower for the fourth straight session.

This week’s falls have seemingly been an extension of jitters on global markets, as US stocks dipped from all-time highs while the pan-European STOXX600 index has now declined for six straight sessions.

Source: Investing.com

Losses today were led by the materials sector, after base metals — copper, zinc and nickel — fell sharply overnight following sluggish data out of China for industrial production and retail sales.

The selloff has extended to Asian markets, with more sharp falls on Japan’s TOPIX index which a short time ago was almost 2% lower in afternoon trade.

Stocks in Hong Kong and South Korea are also lower, while the Shanghai Composite index on mainland China is down by around 0.8%.

Both Rio and BHP closed more than 2% lower while Fortescue finished the day down 2.94%.

Financials started the day higher but the big banks weren’t immune from selling by the close of trade. Westpac led declines with a 0.83% fall.

And there were more steep falls among the major energy stocks, as oil prices continued their retreat from last week’s 2-year high.

Origin Energy and Santos both closed more than 2% lower. Woodside finished the session down 1.2%, marking the fourth straight session that the company’s shares have fallen by at least 1%.

Here are today’s top stories:

1. Australia says Yes: The country voted resoundingly to legalise same-sex marriage, with a high voter turnout and more than 60% of voters choosing the Yes ballot.

2. Another shocker for wages: Long-suffering Australian workers got no respite from another disappointing set of wage growth figures today. Here’s what economists had to say about the result.

3. The right amount of sleep: We asked a number of Australian CEO’s how much sleep they get per night to ensure they’re operating at peak performance.

4. The Netflix list: The entertainment giant has released its monthly league table of the broadband speeds of Australia’s biggest internet service providers.

5. Zara shuts up shop: Even global retailing powerhouse Zara isn’t immune to the challenges facing the retail industry. The company has announced its first Australian store closure.

6. Chaos in Zimbabwe: The country’s capital of Harare is in chaos, with reports of explosions in the city. Soldiers have also taken control of the headquarters of state broadcaster.

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