4 shares plunging on the ASX today

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has dropped 0.5% to 5,142.3 points today, following another day of weak leads from offshore markets. The US Dow Jones fell 0.2%, while the S&P 500 lost 0.1%.

Commodities prices were also down, with iron ore losing 0.8% to US$58.36 a tonne, while Brent crude oil lost 0.3% to US$41.76 a barrel. Despite gold rising overnight, many of the ASX-listed gold miners have been heavily sold off, with the S&P/ASX All Ords Gold (Index: ^AXGD) (ASX: XGD) down more than 5%.

These 4 companies (all resources companies) also saw their share prices sold off…

St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) share price plunged 15.4% to $2.19. The gold miner has been the strongest performer on the ASX over the past year, rising more than 900%, as it managed a phoenix-like comeback. Interestingly, in the last few days, fund manager Hunter Hall has been lightening its load in St Barbara from 13.9% to 12.6%, while a US gold ETF has popped up on the shareholder register with a 5.7% holding. Mostly like today’s move were some investors taking some profits off the table.

Mineral Resources Limited (ASX: MIN) saw its share price sink 9.6% to $5.81. So far this year, Mineral Resources’ share price has jumped 43% as the iron ore price recovered. But as I wrote yesterday, the current iron ore price rally appears temporary, and the commodity price is likely to fall to much lower levels. I’m not alone in that view, and perhaps some investors are starting to take note?

Iluka Resources Limited (ASX: ILU) saw its share price drop 8.1% to $6.66, after the mineral sands company announced yesterday that managing director and CEO David Robb would be leaving in the second half of 2016, after 10 years in the role. While the company was gushing in praise for Mr Robb, with no debt, positive cash flows and significant funding capacity, shareholders might be less forgiving. 10 years ago, the company’s share price was higher than today’s at $6.79, according to Google Finance. 4 years ago, with the share price above $16, I wrote that this may be as good as it gets.

Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) share price dropped 4.4% to $2.63, most likely on the outlook for iron ore and the slight fall in the commodity price overnight. Fortescue’s share price tends to swing wildly around moves in the iron ore price, so today’s fall should be no real surprise to anyone.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. 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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