Market Wrap: ASX drops as BHP Billiton tumbles

The local share market took a belting today with the banks and miners all falling sharply.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) down 2.1% to 4875 points
  • ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) down 1.9% to 4934 points
  • AUD/USD at US 71.83 cents
  • Iron Ore at US$51.60 a tonne, according to the Metal Bulletin
  • Gold at US$1,228.11 an ounce
  • Brent oil at US$32.87 a barrel

Most shares on the ASX finished in the red today, sparked by a sharp fall in the price of oil, after Saudi Arabia said it would not cut back on its production.

BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) led the rout, crashing 8.2%, while Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) also shed 5.8% and 6.6%.

BHP’s fellow iron ore miners took a belting as well. Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) fell 4.8%, Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) was down 5.8% and diversified miner South32 Ltd (ASX: S32) ended the day 5.8% lower.

There wasn’t much support for the nation’s other blue chips, either. All four of the major banks experienced falls of at least 2.7%, with National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) falling the most. They were down 3.8% and 3.9%, respectively.

Worleyparsons Limited (ASX: WOR) was one of the worst performers for the day, losing 13.1%, while Mesoblast limited (ASX: MSB) was again one of the top performers, rising 12.4%.

Here are Wednesday’s top stories:

  1. Why the BHP Billiton Limited share price was hammered today
  2. Wesfarmers Ltd’s share price falls on resources crash
  3. More problems for Slater & Gordon Limited as shares suspended from trade
  4. CRASH: Lifehealthcare share price plunges 37%
  5. Fortescue Metals Group Limited posts US$319 million profit: Is it a buy?
  6. Why Qantas Airways Limited & Caltex Australia Limited are wrong to announce share buybacks

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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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