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

Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Australian stocks fell sharply for a second straight day, despite yet another strong lead from global markets, and the ASX200 dropped to its lowest closing level since February.

Here’s today’s scoreboard:

ASX 200: 5,652.10 -49.34 (-0.87%)
All Ordinaries: 55,719.60 -44.59 (-0.77%)
AUD/USD: 0.7858 +0.0023 (+0.29%)

It was another rough session for the local index, which had its worst one-day fall in two weeks.

Every major sector on the index was lower, with today’s sell-off led by utilities which fell by almost 2.5%.

Among the big banks, ANZ closed more than 2% lower while NAB and Westpac both dipped by around 1%. Commonwealth Bank reversed the trend, climbing by 0.33%.

It wasn’t much better for resources and materials stocks, with the big miners all sold off while Bluescope Steel finished more than 2% lower.

Consumer discretionary stocks also felt the heat, with Myer down another 2.52% while Harvey Norman closed 3.63% lower.

Shares in insurer QBE rebounded following days of heavy selling after it announced another earnings downgrade, closing up by 2.52%.

Here’s the scorecard by sector, showing a sea of red:

A-REITS -1.64%
Consumer Discretionary -1.00%
Consumer Staples -0.69%
Energy -1.09%
Financials -0.71%
Healthcare -0.68%
Industrials -0.69%
Information Technology -0.69%
Materials -0.75%
Telecommunications -1.20%
Utilities -2.45%
All Ords Gold Index -0.20%

Top stories:

1. IMF warns on household debt: Add the International Monetary Fund to the list of large organisations concerned about the threat to domestic consumption from Australia’s huge debt pile.

2. Spaceship listens and learns: Millennial super fund Spaceship has announced that it raised $19.5 million in June, and it’s also cut fees and increased the tech-weighting of its portfolio in response to analyst’s concerns.

3. Australian borrowers beware: Research from UBS investment bank suggests that a significant number of Australian borrowers may have an interest-only loan without even realising.

4. Elon Musk’s brutal meeting tactic: If you’re in a meeting with Elon Musk, make sure you have something to contribute or he might call you out.

5. More worrying data for Aussie households: The latest services PMI data showed a surprising drop in September, and it was driven by a fall in consumer spending.

6. Uber plans an IPO: There’s been some key developments in the Uber boardroom — founder Travis Kalanick’s super-voting rights were annulled and the company announced it plans to list in 2019.

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