Market Wrap: Banks in freefall as ASX crunched

It was like an April Fool’s Day joke gone wrong. The ASX was crunched today, more than reversing all of yesterday’s encouraging gains despite something of a rebound late in the session.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) down 1.6% to 5001 points
  • ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) down 1.5% to 5075 points
  • AUD/USD at US 76.54 cents
  • Iron Ore at US$53.75 a tonne, according to the Metal Bulletin
  • Gold at US$1,230.10 an ounce
  • Brent oil at US$39.80 a barrel

The banks can’t seem to take a trick at the moment. After what seemed like the beginning of a recovery on Thursday, shares of the major banks closed heavily in the red on Friday as investors became increasingly concerned about the prospect of rising bad debts.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) and National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) dropped 2.8% and 2.1%. Meanwhile, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) also fell 2.6% and 2.3%.

Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) was on the ropes too, as was Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW). The pair dropped 1.3% and 1.8%, respectively.

Recall Holdings Ltd (ASX: REC) was among the market’s best, rising 7.2%. Spotless Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: SPO) wasn’t so lucky, losing 4.4%.

Here are Friday’s top stories:

  1. Big four banks crunched
  2. Top stock picks for April
  3. 4 disruptive tech shares that could deliver gangbusters growth
  4. How SMSF investors can choose great dividend shares
  5. 3 reasons to watch out for Wesfarmers Ltd shares
  6. Competition mounts in baby formula sector with new IPO
  7. Telstra Corporation Ltd to give away $1.9 billion: What will you do with your share?

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. 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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