Friday, 23 August, 2019

Wall Street plunge: Dow Jones reels from record fall

Shannon Reynolds | 07 February, 2018, 04:15

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 95.2 points, or 1.56 per cent, to 6,026.2 points while the broader All Ordinaries index tumbled 101.4 points, or 1.63 per cent, to 6,128.4 points.

However, the overall trend has been positive, with Australian markets rising about 27 percent over the last two years, including yesterday's losses.

The Australian share market has suffered losses after the Dow Jones Industrial Average saw its biggest drop in one day. Since 2018 started, the local stock market has dropped by 3.7 percent, and has fallen by approximately $90 billion in two days.

While some types of managed funds will take a hit as the effects of falling stock prices in the United States reverberate, they will rebound just as quickly.

Almost every stock was posting losses as the benchmark ASX 200 index was down 3.1 percent to 5,839 points.

Westpac was the hardest hit of the big four banks, dropping 3.1 per cent, and National Australia Bank was faring the best, with a fall of 2.4 per cent.

Mining shares have also suffered with BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals between 1.4 per cent and 2.7 per cent weaker.

Patersons economic strategist Tony Farnham said investors in the United States were grappling with several issues, including the returns they could get from relatively risk-free Treasury bonds, the yields of which are rising, compared to those they can get from riskier assets such as stocks.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar has slipped against its strengthened USA counterpart, and is back below 80 U.S. cents.

USA stocks have plunged in what is the worst decline since 2011, with the Dow closing down 1,175 points or 4.6% and the S&P closing with a 113 point drop, or 4.1%.

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The big banks Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America dropped by up to 2.5 per cent each.

Today is also a big day for local economic news.

Consumer spending remains a concern for the Reserve Bank of Australia, which has again left the cash rate on hold at 1.5%.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics releases December retail trade figures, plus global trade in goods and services data, also for December.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said the United States stock market dive is a recalibration associated with recent economic data.

Furthermore, there is continued debate over whether the US Federal Reserve is going to increase interest rates more than three times this year, as strengthening jobs and wages data point to a risk of increased inflation.

Retail sales fell 0.5 per cent in December, which was fell below market expectations.

"Markets are volatile. When they recalibrate in relation to events like this, you do see a bit of these events happening", Morrison said.

"But people who watch these markets more and participate in them more closely than I do, I think, will see this for what it is and understand the forces behind it".

The Australian dollar has fallen from 78.85 USA cents ahead of the 1130 AEDT data release to 78.67 U.S. cents at 1146 AEDT.

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