AUSTRALIAN STOCKS HIT BY A WAVE OF SELLING: Here's what you need to know

File photo at Bondi Icebergs. Brook Mitchell/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed lower.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX200: 5,928.90 -44.40 -0.74%
  • All Ordinaries: 6,028.40 -47.30 -0.78%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7753 -0.0002 -0.03%

The local market slumped, following Wall Street where the S&P500 fell 1.3% after President Donald Trump said he would impose a 25% tariff on steel imports.

The slide spread to exchanges in Asia on fears of a trade war, led by Japan’s Nikkei Index which was down by around 2.7% in afternoon trade.

Today the local market was showing red, led by the big miners which would be the main targets of any tariffs. BHP dropped 1.5% to $29.63 and Rio Tinto 1.2% to $76.86.

Over the five days trading the ASX200 lost 1.1%.

Top Stories:

1. “Not bad.” The February reporting season revealed moderate earnings upgrades by Australia’s biggest ASX-listed companies.

2. The franchise story. Retail Food Group posted a massive loss and has started to cuts costs and stores.

3. CHART: Australia’s Bluescope Steel and the new tariffs in the US. Bluescope shares were up 0.8% to $16.30.

4. Higher US tariffs won’t have much of an impact. Unless they start a trade war. Also: This economist says new tariffs on US imports are absurd.

5. Property. The $6.8 trillion housing market appears to be gliding to a soft landing.

6. Pot stocks. The NSW government just cut waiting times for doctors prescribing unregistered cannabis medicines.

7. THE big bonus. Blackstone boss Steve Schwarzman earned $785 million in 2017.

8. Road test. Three days silently hooning around the Hunter Valley in NSW in various Teslas.

9. Weekend reading: A marriage expert says doing these 3 things will help you have successful relationships.

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