The ASX200 was down 77 points to 4268 at noon, a drop of 1.8%. The slump mirrors drops on Wall Street and European exchanges overnight.
The NASDAQ was down close to 4% and the FTSE100 down 3.1%.
Hardest hit of the major stocks was Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) which dropped another $1.68 to $36.40 a drop of over 4%. Macquarie has dropped almost 20% in the last two weeks after flagging that market conditions were impacting some of its businesses.
QBE Insurance (ASX:QBE) fell 19c to $18.11 and the Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) gave up 89c to $48.49.
Miner BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) was down 84c to $37.26 with Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) slipping $2.14 to $66.28 a drop of 3%.
The retail sector delivered some the few bright spots for the day. David Jones (ASX:DJS) which rose 5c to $4.30. And Billabong (ASX:BBG) rose 18c to $8.82 on news that it was to acquire Canada's West 49 chain. Both stocks had been sold off heavily over the last few months, with David Jones impacted by the departure of the former CEO over “inappropriate conduct”.
Progen Pharmaceuticals (ASX:PGL) also rose 5% after announcing a licence and collaboration agreement with Medigen. Progen shares were trading 2c higher at 40c, albeit on light trading volume.
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