Big names in the energy sector were all slashed. Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) was down more than 7 per cent, Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) fell almost 6 per cent, and Santos (ASX:STO) dropped 4.5 per cent. Miners BHP (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) also took a fall. All of the big four banks were lower. Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA), Westpac (ASX:WBC), NAB (ASX:NAB) and ANZ (ASX:ANZ) all dropped more than 3 per cent. Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) dropped more than 5 per cent, which came even after reporting an increase in profit guidance for the year.
The dollar has fallen on the back of disappointing retail and trade numbers.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 193 points lower, or 3.20 per cent lower to finish at 5,785. On the futures market the SPI is 203 points down.
The value of trades was $10 billion on volume of 1.3 billion shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP), and Westpac (ASX:WBC).
Local economic news
The Reserve Bank has kept the interest rate unchanged at 1.5 per cent.
The ABS reported that retail turnover dropped 0.5 per cent in December, which is below market expectations.
The trade deficit is at $1.4 billion in December, when the market expected a $200 million surplus.
Global technology company GetSwift (ASX:GSW) has announced the resignation of a non-executive director, Nevash Pillay. The company says she was with the company for a short time during a challenging period. The board thanked her for her contribution to the company. Shares in GetSwift (ASX:GSW) last traded at $2.92
National Storage REIT(ASX:NSR) has completed a share purchase plan, raising approximately $9.5 million. Approximately 6.38 million new shares at $1.49 each will be issued. The REIT’s recent institutional placement raised $50 million. The funds will be used to reduce existing debt. Shares in National Storage REIT(ASX:NSR) closed 0.68 per cent lower at $1.47
Magellan Financial Group (ASX:MFG) has today announced two acquisitions worth US$15 million in cash and 4.5 million in Magellan shares.
Macquarie bank (ASX:MQG) reports it expects a full year profit growth of 10 per cent.
Helloworld Travel (ASX:HLO) has announced the appointment of John Constable, former Group Chief Executive Officer of STA Travel, as the company’s new Group General Manager of Retail and Commercial.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was Materials losing 2.35 per cent to close at 11,292.
The worst performing sector was Energy, shedding 4.49 per cent to close at 10,455. points.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Regis Resources (ASX:RRL), rising 0.25 per cent to close at $4.02. Shares in Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) and Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC), dropping 10.73 per cent to close at $13.89. Shares in Lynas Corp (ASX:LYC) and Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) also closed lower.
Japan’s Nikkei has lost 6.41 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 4.87 per cent, and the Shanghai Composite has lost 2.78 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,343 an ounce.
Light crude is $2.02 lower at $US63.43 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 78.54 US cents.
Bitcoin has fallen 25 per cent to $6,159.
Tether has fallen about 0.9 per cent to $1.
Ethereum fallen 29 per cent to $596.