The Australian market lost about $38.7 billion in value – and most of the gains of 2015 – as investors dumped stocks over fears of an approaching Greek debt default.
The direction of local stocks Tuesday, the last trading day of the financial year, now depends on what happens in European markets late tonight and Wall Street’s subsequent reaction overnight.
Here’s the scoreboard:
- S&P ASX 200: 5,422.50 -123.39 -2.22%
- All Ordinaries: 5,416.60 -119.53 -2.16%
- AUD/USD: 0.7651 -0.0007 -0.09%
All ten sectors were in the red with the ASX falling below the key level of 5500, the second worst day for local shares in 2015.
From a capital gains point of view, the market has been treading water. The index is now just 11 points, or 0.2%, higher than it started the year. For the financial year, the index is up just 0.5%.
The big banks all fell hard, with Westpac down 3% to $32.02, the ANZ 3.11% to $32.07, the NAB 2.61% and Commonwealth 2.26% to $84.69.
The large miners joined the banks. BHP shed 2% in value to $26.95 and Rio Tinto 1.46% to $53.29. Energy stocks went down hard with LNG losing 5.83% to $3.88, Santos 1.37% to $7.94 and Origin Energy 3.5% to $11.29.
South32, the BHP spinoff, was marked down harder than most miners, losing 4.66% to $1.74.
The consumer discretionary sector was down more than 3%. Myer dropped 4.33% to $1.215, Harvey Norman 4.38% to $4.59 and Solomon Lew’s Premier Investments 2.2% to $12.75.
James Packers’s Crown Resorts was down 2.84% to $11.98.
Perpetual dropped 4.85% to $48.10 after Morgan Stanley downgraded the Australian investment and trustee group.
There’s more to come. Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG, says the Greek debt crisis has still to play out.
“It’s pretty dark days,” he told Business Insider. “I can see absolutely no reason why you would be buying. Europe is going to be absolutely taken to the cleaners on open and rightly so. The step towards Grexit is closer and looks like it is on the cards.”
The top stories Monday:
1. Investors are buying Australian gold stocks as the rest of the market crumbles. Northern Star was up 5.43% to $2.33, Evolution Mining 3.88% to $1.20, Newcrest Mining 1.16% to $13.12 and Ocean Gold Corp 6.69% to $3.35.
2. Medical Developments International, the company behind Australia’s green whistle pain relief inhaler, is near to closing a $US54.5 million ($70 million) licensing deal in Europe. Its shares closed up 14% to $2.75.
3. A big fall for law firm. Slater and Gordon says it made errors reporting cash flow from its UK operations over the last three years. Its shares closed down 25% to $3.78.
5. On the ground in Greece. What it’s like in the queues for cash at ATMs in Athens.
6. This week is a test for the huge liquidity question building in financial markets this year.
7. Investors are buying bonds as a safe haven from the Greek turmoil.
8. Asia mid-session wrap: It’s not been a good start to the week for risk assets.
9. Greece is in a lose-lose situation. There really aren’t any good outcomes from the Greek referendum scheduled for next Sunday.