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ASX 200 plunges 3.1%, Afterpay suffers

ASX 200
Credit: Cimexus

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) dropped by 3.06% today to 5,925 points.

The sell-off started overseas with the NASDAQ falling by around 5%. Shares like Apple and Microsoft fell by 8% and 6.2% respectively. The broader S&P 500 Index dropped 3.5%. 

ASX 200 shares sold off

There was widespread selling in the ASX 200 today.

The worst affected shares were the high growth technology shares. The WiseTech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC) share price fell 7.3%, the Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) share price dropped 7.1%, the Nextdc Ltd (ASX: NXT) share price declined 6.8% and the Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) share price sank by 6.7%.

Australia’s biggest ASX 200 businesses weren’t immune to the falls. The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) share price dropped 3%, the BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) share price fell 3.8%, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) share price declined 2.1% and the Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price dropped 3%.

Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG)

Today it was announced that Fortescue would be entering the ASX 20, but the mining giant also released some market sensitive news as well.

It has received approval from WA to increase the material handling capacity of its Herb Elliot Port facility from 175 million tonnes per annum to 210mtpa on a staged basis. This includes 22mtpa of magnetite concentrate, which will be produced from the Iron Bridge magnetite operations with the first ore to be shipped from Iron Bridge in mid-2022.

The revised licence utilises the capacity of Fortescue’s existing port infrastructure, comprising five berths and three ship loaders and supports the company’s FY21 iron ore shipments guidance of 175mt to 180mt.

Elizabeth Gains, CEO of Fortescue, said: “Fortescue’s port operations are world leading and we have continually demonstrated our capacity to optimise the efficiency and productivity of our port infrastructure to deliver iron ore to our customers.

“We will continue to ensure that Fortescue remains a significant long-term contributor to the state and national economies through growth and development of our iron ore assets, job creation and investment.”

Fortescue also said it would ensure no net increase of dust emissions from the increase of throughput of the port by installing and implementing additional controls.

Index changes

There were a number of changes announced for the S&P/ASX Indices today, which will be implemented later this month.

Coles Group Limited (ASX: COL) and Fortescue made it into the ASX 20, with Scentre Group (ASX: SCG) and Suncorp Group Ltd (ASX: SUN) being demoted.

There were no changes in the ASX 50. In the ASX 100, Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp Ltd (ASX: FPH) will join the index with Cimic Group Ltd (ASX: CIM) and Virgin Money UK PLC (ASX: VUK) getting kicked out.

The ASX 200 also saw numerous changes. Auckland International Airport Limited (ASX: AIA), AUB Group Ltd (ASX: AUB), Ramelius Resources Limited (ASX: RMS), Westgold Resources Ltd (ASX: WGX) and Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) will make it into the ASX 200.

Leaving the ASX 200 were the following: McMillan Shakespeare Limited (ASX: MMS), New Hope Corporation Limited (ASX: NHC), Ooh!Media Limited (ASX: OML), Orocobre Limited (ASX: ORE) and Southern Cross Media Group Limited (ASX: SXL).

S&P Dow Jones Indices said that these changes would be effective at the open of trading on 21 September 2020.

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Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of WiseTech Global and ZIPCOLTD FPO. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO, Appen Ltd, and COLESGROUP DEF SET. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended oOh!Media Ltd. 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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