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S&P/ASX 200 dives: what you need to know

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has extended its sharp decline this afternoon in a plunge led by a number of Australia’s blue chip shares.

Just after 1:30pm Sydney time, the ASX 200 was trading 81 points or 1.6% lower, taking the bourse below the 5000-point mark for the first time in more than three weeks.

Source: Google Finance

Source: Google Finance

BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) is perhaps the biggest surprise of the day, its share price lifting 1.6%.

But elsewhere, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) and National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) are leading the banks lower. They’re down 2.9% and 3% respectively.

The Medibank Private Ltd (ASX: MPL) and Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) share prices have also fallen 2.9% and 1.6% respectively, while Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) and Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) are down 1.8% and 1.4%, ensuring that most investors have been hit hard by today’s selloff.

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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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