Here’s why the ASX 200 plunged today

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Australian shares gave up their early lead after the country’s quarterly inflation rate fell for the first time in years.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) down 0.6% to 5,187 points
  • ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) down 0.6% to 5,253 points
  • AUD/USD at US 76.22 cents
  • Iron Ore at US$62.78 a tonne, according to the Metal Bulletin
  • Gold at US$1,244.12 an ounce
  • Brent oil at US$46.24 a barrel

The Australian dollar plunged immediately after the release of the ABS data which showed a 0.2% decline in consumer prices during the quarter. Meanwhile, the share market ended deep in the red after rising as much as 1.2% earlier.

The banks were among the hardest hit. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) and National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) all lost more than 2%, while Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) fell 1.5%.

Meanwhile, BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) lost 0.6% and 2.1%, respectively, with Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) shedding 2.8%.

Select Harvests Limited (ASX: SHV) shares were hit hard as well, falling 6%.

The gold sector was one of the few shining lights for the broader market. Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) shares gained 2.7%, while St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) lifted 3.7% and 3.6%.

Here are Wednesday’s top stories:

  1. 5 dividend shares to boost your retirement income
  2. The odds of an RBA rate cut next week have jumped
  3. European invasion: Do you own these 5 at risk ASX shares?
  4. Revealed: UK legal ruling lifting Slater & Gordon Limited’s share price
  5. Goldman Sachs thinks ASX shares are expensive
  6. Why the ResMed Inc. (CHESS) share price is tumbling today
  7. Could these 3 tech shares one day be the Microsoft of the ASX?

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The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Microsoft. 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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