WORST MONTH FOR AUSTRALIAN STOCKS SINCE THE GFC: Here's what you need to know

Photo: Andrew Burton/ Getty.

The Australian market closed down, ending August with a 8.6% loss, the worst monthly fall since October 2008.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,207.00 -56.56 -1.07%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,222.10 -52.60 -1.00%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7153 -0.0014 -0.19%

The local market was down as much as 1.95% against the ASX 200 before rallying into the close to be down 1.07% on the day.

All sectors were in the red as local investors reacted to signs that the Fed is open to rising interest rates in the US in September. Stocks in China were falling again, possibly feeding the negative sentiment.

The major banks were all weaker with the ANZ down 2.1% to 27.93. BHP lost 1.22% to $25.18.

A rally in the price of iron ore overnight kept local miners above the tide. Fortescue closed up 0.53% to $1.91. Arrium was 10% higher at $0.11.

Woolworths closed down 3.65% to $26.40 after posting a weak profit result on Friday.

Wealth management and home lender Yellow Brick Road was up more than 4% to $0.47 after announcing an improved full year loss of $2.55 million. Underlying profit was $1.27 million.

Safe haven gold stocks were general higher with Northern Star up 3.3% to $2.02.

The top stories for Monday:

1. Australian company profits just collapsed. Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows a larger than expected fall of 1.9%

2. Local Netflix competitor, Quickflix, has gone into a trading halt on the ASX as the streaming media and DVD group tries to find a way to revive its business.

3. Dope sales. Australian medical marijuana company MMJ PhytoTech has generated its first revenues from sales of its cannabis pill. It closed up 22% to $0.355.

4. Winning ethics. Australian Ethical Investments posted a 23% fall in net profit after tax to $1.97 million after the funds manager cut its fees to attract more investors. It closed up 2.7% to $57.00.

5. China may struggle to achieve its 7% growth target this year. Chinese stocks are falling. And China just introduced a debt ceiling for local government borrowing, already at a high risk level.

6. Australian new home sales slip in July. The HIA reports a decline of 0.4%.

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