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Why these 4 ASX shares started the month in the red

In afternoon trade the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has followed international markets lower and is down 0.9% to 5,962 points.

Four shares that have fallen more than most today are listed below. Here’s why they have started the month in the red:

The Orica Ltd (ASX: ORI) share price has fallen 4% to $17.88 following the release of an update on its operations and provisions review. The commercial explosives producer forecasted a decline in EBIT for the first half of FY 2018, due to various factors including a $300 million non-cash impairment. I would stay clear of Orica.

The Orocobre Limited (ASX: ORE) share price is up 8% to $6.02. The lithium miners have sunk notably lower again today as Morgan Stanley’s bearish research note continues to weigh heavily on sentiment. The broker has predicted that lithium prices will halve in the next few years due to increasing production in Argentina and Australia.

The Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) share price has fallen 4% to $77.85. The majority of today’s decline can be attributed to the mining giant’s shares going ex-dividend this morning. Eligible shareholders can now look forward to receiving Rio Tinto’s 228.5 cents per share interim dividend in their bank accounts on April 12. I think Rio Tinto is a good option for investors in the resources sector at the current price.

The Wattle Health Australia Ltd (ASX: WHA) share price has tumbled almost 5% to $2.43 a day after the release of the food company’s half-year results. For the six months ended December 31, Wattle Health achieved sales of $661,261, down 17.5% on the prior corresponding half. On the bottom line the company posted a loss of $13.1 million. Despite this decline, Wattle Health still has a lofty market capitalisation of over $300 million. I would suggest investors stay clear of Wattle Health until it trades on a more reasonable valuation.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the 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 Scott Phillips.

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