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Market Wrap: European Central Bank sinks S&P/ASX 200

Today, local shares closed sharply after European shares sunk global markets overnight and commodity prices continued to slide.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) down 1.5% to 5,151 points
  • ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) down 1.4% to 5,201 points
  • AUD/USD at US 73.19 cents
  • Iron Ore at US$40.75 a tonne, according to the Metal Bulletin
  • Gold at US$1,063 an ounce
  • Brent oil at US$44.01 a barrel

The ASX fell sharply on the back of a decision by the European Central Bank (ECB) to reduce the deposit rate by just 0.1% to -0.3% and refrain from a more aggressive bond-buying program, to stimulate economic growth. Instead, the ECB chose to continue the current program for an additional six months.

A slide towards $US40 per tonne for iron ore saw shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP), Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) fall 1.43%, 2.65% and 1.3%, respectively.

Each of the major banks also tumbled down, with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) falling 2.52% and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) falling 1.85%.

Among the ASX’s worst performers were Magellan Financial Group Ltd (ASX: MFG) (down 8.9%) and Ardent Leisure Group (ASX: AAD) (down 5.5%).

Some of the best-performing stocks on the ASX were Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) (up 2.4%) and Netcomm Wireless Ltd (ASX: NTC) (up 5%).

Here are Friday’s top stories:

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Owen Raszkiewicz has no position in any stocks mentioned.

Owen welcomes your feedback on Google plus (see below), LinkedIn or you can follow him on Twitter @ASXinvest.

Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. 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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