6:30 PM Sydney – Australian stocks plunged in the late afternoon to extend the daily loss to 1.6% in the broader indexes. Commodities declined and copper dipped to the price last seen in October 2011. Resource sector index dropped more than 4%.
Australian stocks opened lower and accelerated the decline as commodities traded lower and investors dumped resource stocks.
Commodities plunged led by the 4% decline in copper price to below $7,000 a ton in London trading and gold eased 1% more. Copper dipped to the price last seen in October 2011 and gold extended the losses to 30% from its peak in September 2011.
The widespread sell-off in precious and base metals also dragged crude oil prices.
Resource sector index plunged 5% and the broader indexes declined more than 1.6% in trading today.
The ASX 200 index dropped 80.20 or 1.6% to 4,924.40 and the broader All Ordinaries declined 82.30 to 4,911.30.
Australian dollar closed down $1.03 and in stock trading, turnover increased to 6.2 billion shares.
BHP Billiton was in focus after the recently appointed Andrew Mackenzie restructured executive management and flattened management hierarchy as he shifts company focus on managing costs.
Rio Tinto declined $2.52 or 4.6% to $52.07 and BHP dropped $1.41 or 4.4% to $30.65. Fortescue Metals Group plunged 29 cents or 7.8% to $3.43.
For the year BHP stock has declined 17% and Rio Tinto has fallen 21%.
Fortescue Metals Group reaffirmed its aggressive expansion plan and said iron ore prices are expected to rebound on the sustained demand from China.
Fortescue also said its iron production has increased 3%.
Woodside Petroleum Limited declined after the company ended its talk with other natural gas field producers after it shelved its Pluto LNG venture.
Woodside Petroleum slumped $1.22 to $33.86 and Santos declined 69 cents or 5.7% to $11.38.
Newcrest Mining plunged $1.21 or 7.1% to $15.89, Kingsgate plummeted 31 cents or 11.4% to $2.40 and Whitehaven Coal slipped 8 cents to $1.92.
David Jones Limited rose 3 cents to $2.93 and Breville Group down 11 cents to $6.61. Billabong slid 1 cent to 49 cents.
Woolworths fell 4 cents to $35.56. Kathmandu lowered 5 cents to $1.98.
Harvey Norman increased 5 cents to $2.80 after the furniture retailer said third quarter sales increased 0.6% to $1.28 billion.
Toll Holdings slipped 9 cents to $5.53, Leighton declined 78 cents or 4% to $18.66 and Mirvac Group slid 4 cents to $1.71. Lend Lease decreased 16 cents to $10.36.
Bank of Queensland said half-year net profit increased 37% on asset revaluation and the company focuses on its deposit structure.
Westpac up 3 cents to $31.85, Commonwealth down 0.4% to $69 and National Australia Bank lowered 0.7% to $32 and ANZ slid 11 cents to $28.98.
Macquarie Group dropped 95 cents to $36.25 and Wesfarmers rose 33 cents to $42.22.
Nufarm slipped 6 cents to $3.94 and Linc Energy fell 2 cents to $1.85.