Down Under 5,000 Share market sheds $28 billion with lowest result since September
The share market has fallen to its lowest since September, with $28.7 billion wiped off the market today according to data from Bloomberg.
Losses on Wall Street and a further decline in commodity prices hit investor sentiment.
The All Ordinaries sank 1.9 per cent to 4,982 while the ASX 200 tumbled 2 per cent to 4,929.
Overnight, plunging crude oil prices compounded investor nervousness as investors expect the US Federal Reserve to hike rates for the first time in nearly a decade.
In Australia, shares fell across the board with mining and banking stocks hit hard.
Among miners, BHP Billiton dropped 3.5 per cent to its lowest share price in a decade, finishing at $16.60.
Rival Rio Tinto lost 2 per cent to $42.18.
IG market analyst Evan Lucas said a slump in commodity prices was affecting miners.
"That is very much impacting our market and why most of that space is under a huge amount of pressure," he said.
The big four banks all fell, with Westpac tumbling 2.6 per cent, and NAB losing 2.3 per cent.
Insurance company Suncorp plunged almost 10 per cent after a profit downgrade, hitting its lowest since early 2014.
The company said it has been hit by higher than anticipated losses in commercial insurance, a hike in natural hazards allowance and increased insurance claims.
Elsewhere, gold companies bucked the trend to tick higher, with investors piling into the safe-haven precious metal.
Newcrest Mining jumped 4.2 per cent while Regis Resources bounced 8.9 per cent.
Around 5:00pm AEDT the Australian dollar was higher against the greenback, buying 71.2 US cents. It was also fetching 65.6 euro cents, 87.3 Japanese yen and 47.4 British pence.
Spot gold was buying $US1,075 an ounce and West Texas crude was fetching $US35.60 a barrel.
Source: ABC News