S&P/ASX 200 rout intensifies as shares plunge

Credit: Alex Proimos

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has fallen further today in what could be its fourth consecutive session in the red.

Indeed, it’s been a shaky start to 2016 following what was a strong Santa rally, caused by heavy losses in a number of blue chip shares amid further volatility in China. Weak international leads have also impacted the market’s sentiment.

Source: Google Finance; one-month chart for S&P/ASX 200

Source: Google Finance; one-month chart for S&P/ASX 200

The ASX 200 is down 0.8% as at the time of writing, led by each of the major banks. All four have fallen in excess of 0.7% with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) and National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) hit the hardest, down 0.9% and 1% respectively.

BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) have also shed 1.5% and 2.2%, while South32 Ltd (ASX: S32) is down 3.4% around midday.

But they’re not the worst performers. Slater & Gordon Limited (ASX: SGH) shares have continued to plunge, falling 5.3%, while Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) and EVOLUTION FPO (ASX: EVN) shares are down 5.8% and 5.3%, respectively.

JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH) has been one of the top-performing shares, rising 3.3% and bucking the trend. Its shares have risen a total of 8.8% since the beginning of the week.

Don't miss your chance to "invest like a Pro"...

Motley Fool Pro -- our most comprehensive and innovative ASX investment service -- will reopen for a brief time, to accept new members. That means you've got the chance to follow along as one top investor puts $1,000,000 of The Motley Fool's own money to work...all in ASX stocks. And you're invited to watch everything that goes into our decision -- 100% FREE! Click here to step inside for an exclusive look around - 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.