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$100b wiped off sharemarket in biggest plunge since GFC

Business

The Australian stockmarket has shed more than $100 billion as it sinks to its lowest level in over a year, following US markets lower after a rise in the number of coronavirus cases.

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The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 314.2 points, or 5.05 per cent, at 5,902.0 at 1046 AEDT today.

The broader All Ordinaries index fell 319.9 points, or 5.09 per cent, to 5,967.6, with both major indexes at their lowest levels since February last year.

Monday’s losses extend the market’s decline to $426 billion since February 20.

The largest falls were felt in the energy sector, which was down over 16 per cent, after oil prices suffered their largest one day dive in more than 11 years on Friday, as Russia, and OPEC split on a proposal to cut production to stabilise prices.

Woodside Petroleum fell 15.4 per cent to $22.32 by 1030 AEDT, Santos lost 23.13 per cent to $5.15, Origin was down 11.6 per cent to $6.00, and Oil Search was 21.4 per cent weaker at $4.00.

The next worst sector was the materials sector with takes in the big miners, Rio Tinto was down 4.6 per cent to $82.27, BHP was down 7.9 per cent to $29.66, and Fortescue was down 7.7 per cent to $8.86.

All four major banks were over three per cent lower,

Caltex, Qube, and the Rea Group all went ex-dividend on Monday, and their share prices were down between 3.4 per cent, and 8.7 per cent.

The S&P 500 index on Friday posted its 10th decline in 12 sessions as moves to contain the virus crippled supply chains and prompted a sharp cut to global economic growth forecasts for 2020.

The Aussie dollar was buying 66.10 US cents, up from 65.96c as the market closed on Friday.

– AAP

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