Losses almost doubled on the Australian market this afternoon with the ASX 200 Index slumping by 0.6 per cent. The mining sector's gains were wiped out in late trade with only the defensive telcos and consumer staples managing to rise modestly.
Australian shares are falling for the fifth straight day with the ASX 200 Index down by 0.7 per cent. This takes the falls this week to 3 per cent; making it the worst week since June 2013 for local stocks. This is also only the third time in 12 months the ASX 200 has lost ground from Monday through to Friday.
Local shares extended this week's losses, with the market again held back by heavy falls in the materials sector. A weak lead from Wall Street also weighed on investor sentiment. Overnight markets sold off on weak metal prices, US retail sales for December coming in weaker than expected and poor earnings results from large cap banking stocks.
Australian shares are sliding for the fourth day despite the creation of seven times more jobs than expected in December. The ASX 200 Index is down 0.6 per cent following falls in US markets overnight and weaker base metal prices.
In US economic data, retail sales fell by 0.9% in December, well below expectations for a 0.1% fall. Excluding gas stations and autos, sales were down 0.3%. Import prices fell by 2.5% in December and export prices fell by 1.2%.
Australian shares faded this afternoon to post the biggest tumble in a week, with the ASX 200 Index (XJO) slumping by 0.9 percent to 5353. The local market has now fallen for three consecutive days - with equities dragged lower by weaker commodity prices and a negative lead from Wall Street.