The Australian sharemarket continued its gyrations on Monday with another major decline of more than 2 per cent, to its lowest level in two years.
Led by losses for all of the big four banks, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was down 129 points, or 2.3 per cent, at 5552.5.
The broader All Ordinaries Index slid a further 130.4 points, or 2.3 per cent, to 5627.5.
ANZ Bank led the losses, with a dive of $1.07, or 4.2 per cent, to $24.64. Westpac was down 3.4 per cent at $24.86, Commonwealth Bank dropped 3 per cent to $68.27 and NAB slipped 2.5 per cent to $23.39.
The S&P/ASX 200 was under pressure from the start, losing 40 points, or 0.8 per cent, at the open before deteriorating as the session progressed.
Financial analysts said the sharp drop for US markets last week – after the re-escalation of US-China trade tensions and a perceived slowdown in US and global growth – continued to weigh heavily on investors’ appetite to buy shares.
“Until we get a resolution to the China-US trade talks, there won’t be that impasse broken to jump back into the markets,” Kyle Rodda, a market analyst at IG Group Holdings, told Bloomberg TV.
Weaker-than-expected Chinese November trade and slower inflation data, released over the weekend, were other factors adding to market negativity.
The only major gainers could be found among the mining stocks. BHP was up 11 cents to $31.29 and Regis Resources was up 22 cents, or 5.2 per cent, to $4.44.