The local share market fell sharply on Monday with the main bourse sliding well below the 5,500-point mark. It seems that heightened expectations regarding a potential interest rate hike in the United States as early as next month may have been behind today’s heavy fall.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) down 0.8% to 5469 points
  • ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) down 0.8% to 5561 points
  • AUD/USD at US 75.51 cents
  • Iron Ore at US$59.13 a tonne, according to the Metal Bulletin
  • Gold at US$1,318.36 an ounce
  • Brent oil at US$49.29 a barrel

Shares in the gold sector were sold off heavily today, with investors recognising that the price of gold could fall if the US Federal Reserve does hike interest rates.

Silver Lake Resources Limited. (ASX: SLR) shares closed 14.4% lower. EVOLUTION FPO (ASX: EVN) also crashed 10.7% while St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) lost 3.3%.

Estia Health Ltd (ASX: EHE) was also hit hard, shedding 16.7%, while Cover-More Group Ltd (ASX: CVO) declined 5.4%.

Mesoblast limited (ASX: MSB) and Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd (ASX: CCL) both enjoyed better performances today, rising 8.2% and 5.7%, respectively.

Super Retail Group Ltd (ASX: SUL) rose 5.9% as well, while Austal Limited (ASX: ASB) gained 12.8%.

Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) was a drag on the market, but predominantly because its shares went ex-dividend today. It ended the session 3.3% lower.

Here are Monday’s top stories:

  1. Crash: Estia Health Ltd’s share price sinks 15%
  2. Which software company keeps doubling revenues every year?
  3. Reliance Worldwide Corporation Aus P Ltd reports, is it a great investment?
  4. Woosh! Why shares in Money3 Corporation Limited are rocketing today
  5. 4 things to know before buying Star Entertainment Group Ltd shares
  6. 2 ASX shares to buy before US interest rates rise

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman 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.