AUSTRALIAN STOCKS CRUSHED: Here’s what you need to know

The Australian market hit a wall.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 4,876.80 -116.52 -2.33%
  • All Ordinaries: 4,930.80 -113.15 -2.24%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7016 -0.0022 -0.32%

Local stocks have now lost almost 8% in value since the start of 2016.

Today the major banks and the big miners dragged the market deep into negative territory, past Wall Street’s fall where the S&P 500 closed 1.9% down overnight.

All ten sectors lost ground with energy stocks, reacting to more falls in the price of oil, dropping 3.9%. Santos shed 5% to $2.77 and Woodside Petroleum also 5% to $25.65.

But it was the major banks which made up the largest proportion of the slump.

The NAB, which started trading ex the float and demerger of Clydesdale Bank, lost 5.5% to $26.36. The ANZ dropped almost 3% to $23.67, Westpac 2.8% to $29.43 and Commonwealth 2.9% to $75.73.

BHP was 4.3% lower at $14.27 and Rio Tinto 1.3% to $37.03.

The top stories for Wednesday:

1. The NAB demerger and float. The final price for the IPO and demerger of the troubled Clydesdale Bank values the UK business at $3.2 billion.

2. Trade Deficit. Australia printed another monster trade deficit of more than $3 billion for the month of December, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

3. Aldi opens a new front in the supermarket war. The first four stores in South Australia opened today as the German discount supermarket chain starts a campaign to grab market share from the big two, Coles and Woolworths.

4. What’s digital? Australia’s finance directors are partnering with CEOs to drive strategy but many are ignoring the shift to digital.

5. What’s the buzz? An Australian website designed to showcase which startups are generating the most buzz online launched today.

6. Cold on housing. Sentiment towards Australia’s residential property market deteriorated dramatically in the final parts of 2015.

7. These cars are going fast. Lamborghini and the Ford Mustang are posting amazing sales in Australia.

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