The Australian stockmarket is on track to post its worst trading day of the year after falling almost 3 per cent in the first thirty minutes of trading this morning.
At 10.50 AEST, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 had slumped 135 points or 2.7 per cent to 4977.9 points.
Shares across all sectors are being crunched, led by mining and energy stocks.
Widely held resources companies such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are down more than 5 per cent, while energy stocks are faring even worse with Origin Energy sliding 8 per cent.
Major bank shares are also getting skinned with Commonwealth Bank down $1.41 to $71.29 in the first hour of trading.
ANZ’s stock price fell almost 3 per cent to $26.62.
The latest sell-off of local stocks came after the release of Chinese economic data that showed the world’s new super-economy is continuing to slow.
That news stoked a big slide in world commodity prices overnight, led by oil benchmarks that fell by 3 per cent.
CommSec’s Craig James noted that disappointing Chinese data had driven falls in European and US markets overnight.
“World oil prices fell on Monday with investors unnerved by falling equities markets and ongoing worries about the health of the Chinese economy,” Mr James said in a research report.
“Data showed Chinese industrial profits falling at the fastest rate in four years.”