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Why these 4 ASX shares have plummeted today

Another solid performance from the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) sees the benchmark index up by 0.5% to 5,477 points in afternoon trade. The information technology and healthcare sectors have been the strongest performers so far today, with both sectors up close to 2%.

It hasn’t been a great day for all shares on the index though. Four shares which have been acting as a drag on proceedings today are as follows:

Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) shares have dropped around 3% to 61.7 cents. Today’s decline is likely to be related to the drop in oil prices to ten-week lows overnight. According to CNBC, a rallying U.S. dollar and a global fuel glut offset forecasts for lower U.S. crude stockpiles. Both WTI and Brent crude oil are fetching around US$46 a barrel at present, which is over 10% lower than their June highs.

Beach Energy shares have gained 26% so far in 2016.

BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) shares are down around 3% to $19.21 following the release of its full year production results. Although production of petroleum, copper, and metallurgical coal all exceeded their production guidance, investors appeared to be disappointed to learn that overall iron ore production was slightly lower year on year and below its guidance. In addition to this the mining giant has flagged a number of additional items that will impact the group’s underlying profit.

BHP Billiton shares are still up over 7% this year.

Cimic Group Ltd (ASX: CIM) shares have plummeted over 19% to $26.85 after the release of its half year results. Whilst the construction giant reported a 3% increase in net profit after tax of $265.2 million, there are still doubts lingering over the company. According to reports in The Australian, Morgan Stanley has warned that it is still struggling to reconcile its accounts. The investment bank believes there is a big gap between its reported profits and its cash flows.

CIMIC Group’s shares have lost around 26% of their value in the last 30 days.

Independence Group NL (ASX: IGO) shares took an 8% dive to $3.91 despite no news coming out of the company today. The decline appears to be related to a downgrade by Macquarie which saw analysts cut their price target on the mineral exploration company to $3.90.

Independence Group’s share price is still up by around 20% in the last 30 days.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro 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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