STOCKS GET CRUSHED: What you need to know

The Australian market fell for the second session in a row as investors dumped stocks on a stronger local dollar, impacting export earnings and dimming prospects for an early interest rate cut.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,838.60 -109.94 (-1.85%)
  • All Ordinaries: 5,818.20 -103.25 (-1.74%)
  • AUD/USD: 5,818.20 -103.25 (-1.74%)

In the US, the S&P 500 index closed up 0.3%.

On the local market, all ten sectors lost ground in the worst day since December 1 last year when there was a 1.98% fall. Adding to yesterday’s losses, the market has lost 2.4% in two days.

Health care stocks were down 2.62% across the board. Ramsay was down 3.02% to $$62.64, CSL 2.91% to $91.00 and Sonic Healthcare 2.63% to $20.01.

Macquarie led the financials lower at $79.15, down 4.83%, and the AMP was weaker by 3.28% to $6.48. The NAB lost 2.4% to $37.46, Westpac 2.58% to $37.40, the Commonwealth 2.17% to $90.57 and ANZ 1.86% to $34.75.

The miners were in a sea of red with Fortescue at $2.27, shedding 7.35% in value. Rio Tinto was down 1.84% to $57.71 and BHP 1.17% to $32.04.

The top stories for Wednesday:

1. Storm damage. AIG’s margins get a beating from NSW storms and Sydney hail, with costs rising to $300 million.

2. Coles prices really are down as deflation hit the shelves in the March quarter. The big retailer says sales rose 5.4% in the third quarter to $7.1 billion. Wesfarmers shares closed 0.35% down at $43.00.

3. Back above 80 cents US. The Aussie dollar is trading at its highest level since January.

4. A $2.726 billion takeover. The US logistics company Iron Mountain is about to acquire Australian data group Recall in a revised offer. The deal will create a leading global information management solutions company with substantial Australia-based shareholding. Recall closed at $7.64, up 0.26%.

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