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Here’s what happened to the ASX 200 today

It was another tough day for local shares, although the losses weren’t quite as bad as the 2% decline experienced on Tuesday. Brexit fears continue to weigh on investor sentiment, while falling commodity prices and the upcoming US Federal Reserve decision on interest rates are likely also acting as a drag.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) down 1.1% to 5147 points
  • ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) down 1% to 5230 points
  • AUD/USD at US 73.71 cents
  • Iron Ore at US$50.57 a tonne, according to the Metal Bulletin
  • Gold at US$1,283.58 an ounce
  • Brent oil at US$49.15 a barrel

The nation’s biggest banks led the sell-off again today. National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) dropped 1.8% and 1.7% respectively, while Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) plunged 2.2%.

Plenty of other blue chip shares tumbled as well. BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) shares dropped 1.7%, Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) lost 0.9%, and CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) shed 1.5%.

Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG) was one of the market’s worst performers for the day, shedding 3.4%, while Select Harvests Limited (ASX: SHV) also dropped 4.8%.

On a more positive note, Mesoblast limited (ASX: MSB) and Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd (ASX: LNG) shares soared 12.2% and 16.9% respectively.

Here are Wednesday’s top stories:

  1. a2 Milk Company Ltd upgrades profit on baby formula boom
  2. Here’s why the Bellamy’s Australia Ltd share price is soaring today
  3. Is the share market set for a crash?
  4. JB Hi-Fi Limited: 3 reasons to buy, and 3 to avoid
  5. Why Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd hyper growth could continue
  6. Why have Mesoblast limited shares soared today?
  7. 3 ASX shares that look EXTREMELY overvalued

The market is volatile right now, particularly in the lead-up to Britain's vote to either stay or leave the European Union. Some of the better shares to hold during times of such uncertainty are those which pay decent dividend yields -- not only because they offer a steady stream of income, but also because those businesses which can afford to pay dividends are typically considered more stable than those which cannot pay dividends.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman owns shares of Bellamy's Australia. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Bellamy's Australia. 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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