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S&P/ASX 200 falters as mining shares retreat

The local S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) soared as much as 1.8% shortly after the opening bell this morning, hitting a peak at 4997 points, but has since given up the majority of those gains.

It’s sitting just 29 points or 0.6% higher moving towards noon at 4938 points.

The biggest story of the day was of course BHP Billiton Limited’s (ASX: BHP) $10.3 billion writedown this morning, although the shares defied gravity and rose 5.8% to a high of $15.75.

They’ve since come off steam and are trading 3.1% higher now, while fellow miners Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) and South32 Ltd (ASX: S32) are now also showing gains of 2.1% and 4.6%.

With the exception of Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC), each of the major banks are trading higher today. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) are showing gains of 0.7% and 0.6% respectively, while National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) is leading the group with its 0.8% gain.

Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd (ASX: LNG) is showing it still has gas in the tank, rising 7.2% and making it the top performing share from the ASX 200 group, while Myer Holdings Ltd (ASX: MYR) has fallen 3.2%.

Indeed, investors have endured a horror run so far in January 2016, with only one daily gain until this point. While another gain today would certainly be welcome to provide a boost in confidence for investors. Also, investors should know that the best time to buy shares is usually when the market takes a turn for the worse.

As it stands, the ASX 200 is sitting more than 17% below its peak in April 2015 and there are plenty of shares that could make for outstanding long-term buys today.

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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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