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Here’s why the ASX 200 was crushed today

The ASX was slammed today, reversing much of yesterday’s solid gain.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) down 1.5% to 5271 points
  • ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) down 1.5% to 5335 points
  • AUD/USD at US 74.97 cents
  • Iron Ore at US$63.41 a tonne, according to the Metal Bulletin
  • Gold at US$1,280.90 an ounce
  • Brent oil at US$44.94 a barrel

Local shares were unable to hold onto the gains spurred by the RBA’s decision to cut interest rates yesterday. Most of the damage was caused by blue chips BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW).

BHP shares were slammed 9.4% after iron ore prices fell, and news spread that the miner would face a $58 billion claim over the Samarco incident in November last year.

Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) also lost 4.9% and 7.5%, while South32 Ltd (ASX: S32) fell 8.3%.

Woolworths also collapsed 7% after Standard & Poor’s cut its credit rating on the group.

National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) was the worst of the banks, losing 1.2%, while Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) dropped 8.7%.

Here are Wednesday’s top stories:

  1. BHP Billiton Limited shares slammed on reports of $58.2 billion lawsuit
  2. Woolworths Limited shares slammed on credit rating downgrade
  3. Is there something amiss at Surfstitch Group Ltd?
  4. Rio Tinto Limited shareholders: Watch out below!
  5. Why the Cover-More Group Ltd share price was slammed today
  6. Is Telstra Corporation Ltd your best bet for dividends?

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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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