The ASX 200 plunged 106 points or 2.6% to close at 3964, well below the psychologically important 4000 mark and wiping out over $30 billion. At 3964 the ASX200 is at its lowerst point in over two years.
Hardest hit was the materials sector, which dropped 4.4% on concerns that China and India’s postponement of shipments indicated an Asian slowdown and an end to the mining boom. Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU) plunged 8.5% to $13.27 and was the worst performing ASX50 stock today. Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) dropped 6% to $5.46, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) fell more than 6% to $65.10 while BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) lost 4% to close at $35.63.
Financials had already taken a beating yesterday but the Financials index still fell another 2.3% today. The Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) fell 2.3% to $42.03, Westpac (ASX:WBC) lost 2% to $18.92 and the National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) plunged 3% to $21.52.
Fosters Group (ASX:FGL) was the best performing ASX50 stock, rising 7.5% to $5.26 on news that the Fosters board had approved a revised takeover bid by SABMiller.