Why these 4 ASX stocks are getting smashed today

Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd (ASX:LNG) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) lead the downfall today

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The selloff of Australian shares intensified today as investors reacted to the US Federal Reserve’s decision to keep interest rates on hold. The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) fell heavily when the market opened and has gradually extended its losses – it’s down 2.3% at 5,051 points in late-afternoon trading.

These four companies fared even worse for the day…

Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd (ASX: LNG) was again on the chopping block after oil prices fell further. According to CNBC, US crude oil fell nearly 5% on Friday which challenges the economic viability of LNG Ltd’s two major projects, Magnolia, in Louisiana, and Bear Head, in Nova Scotia. The shares are down 6.8% today and 69% since April.

Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) fell into a nosedive, declining 4.4% despite the absence of any specific news which would explain the fall. It’s possible that investors are worried that slower growth in the global economy could impact demand for travel, while it is also possible they’re concerned what effect the falling Australian dollar will have on outbound travel rates.

Pleasingly, The Australian Financial Review quoted Contiki’s chief executive, Casper Urhammer, as saying that younger travellers are unlikely to change their travel plans despite the falling Australian dollar. If history and Flight Centre’s own forecasts are anything to go by, most other travellers won’t change their plans, either.

BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) fell another 3.1%, giving it a total (adjusted for the demerger of South32) decline of 14% since the beginning of the year. Investors continue to ignore the mining giant’s lucrative dividend due to its heavy reliance on commodities such as iron ore and oil, which most analysts expect will continue to fall in value over the coming months.

Pacific Brands Limited (ASX: PBG) has retreated 6.6% to trade at 63.5 cents, despite no news being released that would explain the fall. While the fall could partially be attributed to the market’s bearishness today, it could also be linked to profit-taking. Even after today’s falls, the shares are still up 67% over the last four weeks and 102% since the beginning of July.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. 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 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.

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