ASX braces for another bloodbath
The Australian share market is set to dive amid a global equities sell-off, with oil and metals prices also falling and the Aussie dollar taking a hit overnight.
The SPI200 futures contract is down 65 points, or 1.14 per cent, to 5613.0, at 0800 AEDT on Wednesday, pointing to a steep drop for the ASX at the open, after a late rally from banking stocks had helped it claw back some ground in the previous session.
The Aussie is buying 72.18 US cents, down from 72.76 cents on Tuesday, and more than a per cent down from the 73.32 cents reached at the weekend.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 has hit a three-week low, as weak earnings from retailers including Target and Kohlâ€™s, as well as a fall in energy shares, added to lingering turmoil from a sell-off in technology stocks.
At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 24,462.79, down more than 550 points, or 2.2 per cent. The broadbased S&P 500 shed 1.8 per cent to 2,641.69, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.7 per cent to 6,908.82.
Oil prices were caught up in the wider equities slump, dropping seven per cent to the lowest level in more than a year, while copper and iron ore prices have also slipped as uncertainty swirls before a meeting of US and Chinese leaders.
On local shores on Wednesday, supermarket giant Woolworths is scheduled to hold its annual general meeting in Sydney, while the newly-floated Coles will begin trading.