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Why these 4 ASX shares have plummeted today

In early afternoon trade the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) is higher for a third day in a row with a 0.7% gain to 5,627 points.

Although almost all sectors are in the green today, there have been a number of notable share price declines. Here are four that caught my eye:

Codan Limited (ASX: CDA) shares have continued their poor run and fallen 9% to $1.78. This is the second day in a row of heavy declines despite there being no news out of the communication equipment and metal detector manufacturer. With its shares up 166% year to date I wouldn’t be surprised if this is just a spot of profit taking from investors.

Perseus Mining Limited (ASX: PRU) shares have sunk 4.5% to 32 cents following another drop in the gold price. At present the spot gold price fetches US$1,130 an ounce, down slightly from yesterday. Unfortunately for gold miners like Perseus Mining, I can see further declines for the precious metal next year when U.S. interest rates rise.

Slater & Gordon Limited (ASX: SGH) shares have plunged almost 5% to 25.2 cents after the embattled law firm revealed that it is under investigation by ASIC for allegedly deliberately falsifying its accounts between 1 December 2014 and 29 September 2015. As far as I’m concerned Slater & Gordon is a share which must be avoided by investors at all costs.

Touchcorp Ltd (ASX: TCH) shares have fallen a staggering 31% to $1.15 after the payments company provided a market update this morning. Not only did the update reveal a slowdown in revenue growth from its half-year results, but also a significant drop in operating profit. The company undoubtedly has potential, but it certainly needs to start realising it.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of TOUCHCORP FPO. 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.