Local shares followed their international counterparts lower today and it was the banks leading the way.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) down 0.5% to 5142 points
  • ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) down 0.5% to 5205 points
  • AUD/USD at US 76.10 cents
  • Iron Ore at US$58.36 a tonne, according to the Metal Bulletin
  • Gold at US$1,234.38 an ounce
  • Brent oil at US$41.34 a barrel

A volatile session for foreign markets, caused largely by the latest terrorist attacks in Europe – this time in Brussels – led to a rather cautious session locally.

The banks led what was a rather broad sell-off, with National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) falling the most to be down 2%. The remaining three banks all ended the day between 0.3% and 0.4% lower.

The miners were on the ropes again today as well. BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP), for instance, lost 1.7%, while South32 Ltd (ASX: S32) and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) closed 3.2% and 4.4% lower, respectively.

Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) was one of the few blue-chips to end the day higher. Its shares rose 1.4%, while shares of Ardent Leisure Group (ASX: AAD) continued yesterday’s rally, rising another 6.9%.

Sundance Energy Australia Ltd (ASX: SEA) wasn’t so lucky, losing 12.5%.

Here are Wednesday’s top stories:

  1. 4 high-yield dividend shares you won’t need to babysit
  2. A growth investor’s guide to Retail Food Group Limited
  3. 2 cannabis stocks that could smoke the ASX
  4. Why I would avoid these 2 ASX shares right now
  5. Is now the time to buy shares of Telstra Corporation Ltd?
  6. Why the Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. Ltd share price is rising today

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman owns shares of Retail Food Group Limited. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ASXvalueinvest.

The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Retail Food Group Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.