4 ASX shares getting smashed today

The shortened trading week hasn’t started well for local investors with lower commodity prices and negative offshore leads causing the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX:XJO) to fall 0.4% to 5,220 points.

A number of stocks have been hit particularly hard today including:

Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN)

Shares of the Flying Kangaroo have lost another 4.1% today to trade at $3.23. Qantas shares have now lost around 20% since the company announced it would be lowering its seat capacity as a result of weaker-than-expected demand. Group revenue per available seat kilometre (RASK) also declined in March, with the airline lowering its prices in both its domestic and international segments. Qantas’ latest market update is yet another example of how sensitive airlines are to factors beyond their control and why many investors chose to steer clear from them as investments.

Qantas’ shares have lost 10% over the past 12 months.

Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG)

Fortescue is the worst performing big miner today with its shares losing 6.2% to trade at $3.14. Today’s fall comes on the back of a pull-back in the iron ore price from 20-month highs and from moves by the Chinese authorities to limit speculative trading of iron ore futures. A number of analysts believe the recent surge in iron ore prices has been fuelled by speculators and this move is aimed at bringing iron ore prices back in line with market demand and supply. If successful, investors should expect to see much lower iron ore prices and a much lower share price for Fortescue in the near term.

Fortescue shares have gained 43% over the past 12 months.

Surfstitch Group Ltd (ASX: SRF)

Surfstitch shares lost more than 10% today to trade at $1.03. Today’s sharp fall comes on the back of heavy falls last week, despite no news being released by the company. The falls are the likely result of investors bailing out after expecting that an offer from Surfstitch’s former CEO Justin Cameron to take the company private would have eventuated by now. The stock is now trading back at pre-announcement levels indicating the market doesn’t expect an offer to occur anytime soon. Despite this, Surfstitch has some attractive growth features and is definitely a stock worth keeping a close eye on.

Surfstitch shares have lost 37% over the past 12 months.

Santos Ltd (ASX: STO)

An overnight fall in the crude oil price has dragged down the energy sector today and Santos is the worst performing major oil producer. Its shares have lost more than 4.5% to trade at $4.41. The company is one of the most leveraged players in the sector which means a small change in the oil price can cause a dramatic change in its share price. As a result, investors shouldn’t read too much into today’s share price movement.

Santos shares have lost 45% over the past 12 months.

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Motley Fool contributor Christopher Georges owns shares in Surfstitch. 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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