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S&P/ASX 200 plunges near fresh low: what you need to know

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has begun the week deep in the red, extending on last week’s four-day losing streak. As was the case for much of last week, it was the resources sector acting as a key drag on the broader market following yet another horror night for commodity prices on Friday.

By around 10:30am (Sydney time), the ASX 200 had fallen 1.3%, taking it to just 4962 points. It’s down 3.9% since the beginning of the month and is sitting within 0.9% of setting a new two-year low.

BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) was again one of the biggest casualties. The miner’s share price fell 3% to $16.69 after hitting a new 10-year low at $16.57, while Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) lost 3% and 2% respectively.

Elsewhere in the commodities sector, South32 Ltd’s (ASX: S32) share price fell 2.8%, while energy producers Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL), Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) and Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) fell 2.3%, 4% and 5.8%, respectively.

The big four banks didn’t provide any support, nor did a range of other blue chip corporations. National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) were the worst from the banks, sliding 2% and 1.4%, while Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) and Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) lost 0.4% and 1.8% each.

The local share market is now languishing below the 5000 point mark and investors are likely feeling anxious for whatever the future could hold. As testing as these periods can be however, it is important to remain calm and composed and ensure you do not sell into the panic. That is one of the quickest ways to lose money on the share market.

However, it is also very important that you have a game plan of what you will do in the event that conditions do worsen on the share market. The Motley Fool's top analysts have been busy at work preparing this new report which I urge you to read before you sell your next share. Read on below.

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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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