5:30 PM Sydney – Australian indexes dropped 2% after Chinese sell-off extended losses to more than 30% in the last four weeks. Iron ore, coal, copper and crude oil prices declined to new lows in 2015.
Australian market indexes plunged following an Asia-wide sell-off after indexes in Shanghai and Hong Kong fell the most in a single day since the financial crisis in 2008.
Indexes in Shanghai plunged 6.75% and in Hong Kong declined 5% after panicked investors sold stocks and Chinese regulators took steps to arrest the fall.
Nearly 500 additional stocks were halted on exchanges in Shanghai and in Shenzen totalling 1,300 stocks or nearly 45% of all listed companies.
Chinese stocks are still up more than 78% from a year ago but has lost more than 30% in the last four weeks.
Australian dollar closed at 73.92 U.S. cents and in stock trading turnover rose to 892 million shares worth $5.5 billion.
At close, the ASX 200 Index dropped 111.90 or 2% to 5,469.50 and the broader All Ordinaries Index slumped 107.50 to 5,456.50.
In commodities trading, gold tumbled US$18 to US$1,151 an ounce and Brent crude fell 0.74 cents to close at US$56.11 a barrel.
Genex Power Ltd
jumped 5% to 21 cents after the power generation company priced its stock at 20 cents.
The stock opened at 22.5 cents and closed at 21 cents.
Australian Stock Movers
Atlas Iron Limited
was halted at 12 cents the iron ore producer said it has ''put'' options for 400,000 dry metric tons of iron ore at price between US$53 and US$54 per ton if exercised.
NIB Holdings Limited
slumped 3.2% to $3.36 after the health insurer agreed to acquire travel-insurance company World Nomads Group Ltd. for about $95 million.
The transaction is expected to close in August.
surged 11.2% to $3.39 after the online travelling services provider forecasted total transaction value in the second-half ending in June surged 41% to $646 million from $460 million in a year ago period and re-affirmed operating profit of about $27 million.
The company is schedule to release its earnings result on August 20.