Why these 4 ASX shares have been slammed today

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) came back from the long weekend with a thud, dropping around 2% to 5,210 points today.

The Australian market is having its worst day in six weeks as investors turn their attention towards a number of key events which are likely to have an impact on financial markets across the world.

These fours shares have posted particularly bad days and suffered huge declines. Here’s why:

Henderson Group plc (ASX: HGG) shares have dropped by around 7% to $4.65 due to a recent Brexit poll in the United Kingdom that showed the leave camp has taken a 19-point lead. The Opinium Poll found 52% of respondents will vote to leave the European Union, compared to 33% that plan to vote to remain. Henderson has significant exposure to British financial markets which are likely to be negatively impacted by a Brexit. BT Investment Management Ltd (ASX: BTT) is in the same boat as Henderson, and unsurprisingly suffered a 5% drop today.

Henderson shares have had a tough year, dropping 26% year-to-date.

Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd (ASX: LNG) has seen its incredible rise come to a grinding halt. Its share price is down a further 12% to 73.2 cents, which means it has now dropped 37% since Thursday of last week. The prospective LNG tolling facility owner had been flying higher on rumours of a takeover approach, but the company quashed those rumours saying it was unaware of anything of the sort. In addition to this, the company’s shares were omitted from the S&P/ASX 200 Index. Now that it is outside this key index, some institutional investors may be prohibited from investing in its shares.

Liquefied Natural Gas shares are now in negative territory for the year, losing around 8% of their value so far in 2016.

Mesoblast limited (ASX: MSB) finally came out of its trading halt and dropped a massive 35% to $1.24 today. The regenerative medicine business revealed its partner Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has pulled out of its late-stage trial of experimental stem cell therapy for chronic heart failure. Without the financial muscle of Teva behind it, management explained that it will fund the trial with equity-based funding without the need for a capital raising. Management wouldn’t go into detail on how this works, much to the frustration of its shareholders no doubt.

Mesoblast shareholders are nursing paper losses of 69% in the last 12 months.

Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) shares were crushed today, dropping close to 7% to $4.41. The decline appears to be related to the drop in oil prices over the last few days. Both Crude Oil WTI and Brent have slipped under US$50 per barrel again after touching on US$53 last week. Santos wasn’t the only one to suffer as a result. Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and AWE Limited (ASX: AWE) shares have also come under heavy selling pressure today and dropped by a similar amount.

Santos shares are still up by over 19% this year despite today’s declines.

If your portfolio took a beating today, then I would recommend taking a look at these five fantastic shares. Each provides investors with a solid dividend and the potential for share price gains in the future.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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. I contribute to The Motley Fool as a freelance writer and the thoughts and opinions in this post are my own, not that of The Motley Fool’s.

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