Market Wrap: Aus shares plunge early, close 1.75% down

Market Reports

The data

The ASX opened 1.4% down at 5115.4 points after Wall Street recorded its worst session since last June overnight. Weak industrial data from the US and China also weighed on early trade. The market closed 1.75 per cent down in what experts were quick to call a correction not a crash.
 
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed nearly 91 points down to finish at 5,097. 
 
The value of trades was $5.7 billion on volume of 921 million 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 National Australia Bank Limited (ASX:NAB).
 
On the futures market, the SPI is 98 points down.
 
Economic news

The RBA has held rates at 2.5%. RBA Governor Glenn Stevens pointed to overall global financial conditions which remain very accommodative, despite the US Federal Reserve beginning stimulus tapering. Stevens also pointed to higher than expected domestic inflation and a drop in commodity prices as reasons for the hold. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) Chief Economist Michael Blythe has told FNN he expects the RBA to keep interest rates at record lows.
 
Company news
 
Shares in Acrux Limited (ASX:ACR) have tumbled over ten per cent as news emerged that the US Food and Drug Administration is to investigate a possible link between testosterone replacement therapies and the risk of heart attack, stroke and death. Acrux manufactures a range of sprays and patches for the treatment hormonal deficiencies. The price plunge prompted Acrux to ask for a suspension of trading until Thursday the 6th of February.
 
Shares in in Acrux Limited (ASX:ACR) closed 10.34 per cent down at $2.08. 
 
Online retailer Shoply Limited (ASX:SHP) has announced the purchase of some key domain names. The company had acquired the addresses toystore.com.au, sportinggoods.com.au and homeappliances.com.au. In a release to the ASX, Shoply says the move will allow it to launch well placed businesses to access the online toy and sporting good markets worth $1.6 billion. 
Shares in Shoply Limited (ASX:SHP) closed 16.67 per cent up at $0.02. 
 
Titan Energy Services Limited (ASX:TTN) has more than doubled its first half net profit to $5 million. First half revenue was up 53 per cent to $45.2 million on last year with a rise in EBIT of 86 per cent in line with guidance. Despite the positive news, Shares in Titan Limited (ASX:TTN) closed 2.86 per cent down. 
 
 
Challenger Diversified Property Group (ASX:CDI) has posted a net profit of $15.2 million, down from the $20.8 million net profit reported in the previous corresponding period. Challenger will pay an interim dividend of 9.2 cents. Shares in Challenger Diversified Property Group (ASX:SHP) closed 1.20 per cent down. 
 
The best and worst performers of the day

All major sectors suffered in the sell-off, with Real Estate Investment Trusts performing best, only dropping 2 points to close at 991. The worst performing sector was Materials, losing 216 points to close at 9,779.
 
Share prices also mostly fell, though REA Group Limited(ASX:REA) managed the best performance of the day on the S&P/ASX 200. It was up 4.99 per cent to close at $43.78. Shares in Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX:NCM) and EVOLUTION FPO (ASX:EVN) also closed higher.
 
The worst performing stock was Acrux Limited (ASX:ACR), dropping 10.34 per cent to close at $2.08. Shares in Energy World Corporation Ltd (ASX:EWC) and Mount Gibson Iron Limited (ASX:MGX) also closed much lower. 
 
Commodities
 
Gold is buying $US1,257 an ounce. Light crude is $1.06 down at $US96.43 a barrel. The Australian dollar spiked over a cent after the RBA rates announcement and was buying $US0.8883 at the close.