Market Wrap: ASX falls as BHP Billiton Limited shares crash

Local shares fell hard today, led by the energy sector.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) down 0.9% at 5108 points
  • ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) down 0.9% to 5158 points
  • AUD/USD at US 72.28 cents
  • Iron Ore at US$39.06 a tonne, according to the Metal Bulletin
  • Gold at US$1,072.38 an ounce
  • Brent oil at US$40.92 a barrel

After the iron ore price fell 2.4% overnight and the Brent oil price collapsed 4.9%, the ASX was destined for a painful day. Shares opened significantly lower and at no stage looked likely to rebound into the black.

The energy sector was the hardest hit for the day. The Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) share price fell 13.1%, Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) fell 4% and Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) lost 16.4%. Oil Search was the market’s worst performing share for the day.

In terms of its weighting on the broader index, BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) was the market’s biggest casualty, shedding 5.2% and ending the day at just $17.05. Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) also fell 4.3% and 3%, while South32 Ltd (ASX: S32) closed 8% lower.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) was the worst from the banks, losing 1.7%, while Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) also fell 0.9%.

Slater & Gordon Limited (ASX: SGH) shares had another shocking outing, losing 12.6%, while Spotless Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: SPO) produced a surprise 7.5% gain.

Here are Tuesday’s top articles:

  1. CRUSHED: Why the BHP Billiton Limited share price crashed today
  2. Why the Oil Search Limited share price sank 16% today
  3. A mindless herd of bison
  4. Why Santos Ltd’s share price is getting crushed today
  5. Will Clydesdale cost National Australia Bank Ltd. shareholders billions?
  6. Why the Spotless Group Holdings Ltd share price soared today

What would YOU do if the market crashed tomorrow?

With commodity prices crashing, some experts are predicting a market crash. Discover our Foolish experts' advice on what YOU should do in the event of a crisis -- simply click here for your FREE copy of our newly updated report, "What to Do When the Sharemarket Crashes". Click here, it's FREE!.

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.

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss a very important event! Chief Investment Advisor Scott Phillips and his team at Motley Fool Share Advisor are about to reveal their latest official stock recommendation. The premium “buy alert” will be unveiled to members and you can be among the first to act on the tip.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by – this is your chance to get in early!

Simply enter your email now to find out how you can get instant access.

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.