Market Wrap: Banks drag ASX into bear market

Local shares plunged more than 2% again earlier today, but regained some ground later in the session.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) down 1.2% to 4775 points
  • ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) down 1.1% to 4826 points
  • AUD/USD at US 70.46 cents
  • Iron Ore at US$45.73 a tonne, according to the Metal Bulletin
  • Gold at US$1,191.53 an ounce
  • Brent oil at US$31.03 a barrel

The ASX 200 fell into an official bear market today as the nation’s blue-chip shares continue to drag on its performance (remember, a bear market might seem scary but it can also create plenty of opportunities for long-term investors).

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) was one of the few blue chip shares rising today after a better-than-expected earnings report. Its shares rose 1.8% but its three major competitors fell between 0.6% and 1.9%.

Unfortunately for shareholders of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP), it was back to the red for their shares as they fell 2.5%. Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) also fell 2.6% while Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) shares dropped 3.2%.

Meanwhile, the gold miners proved unable to hold onto yesterday’s gains with Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NCM) both losing more than 3%.

Boral Limited (ASX: BLD) was one of the market’s top performing shares, rising 3.5%, while Mesoblast limited (ASX: MSB) shares dropped 11.8%.

Here are Wednesday’s top stories:

  1. Commonwealth Bank of Australia reports: What you need to know
  2. Goldman Sachs: Crashing markets offer opportunities
  3. Why Computershare Limited shares crashed on its half-year report
  4. Here’s why the BHP Billiton Limited share price tumbled today
  5. 3 shares for your SMSF to grow your retirement nest egg
  6. Oil and gas companies are going bust at a fast rate
  7. 5 shares crushing the S&P/ASX 200 over the past month

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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 owns shares of Computershare. 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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