The sharemarket’s losses have accelerated in the afternoon and are now topping $26 billion, putting the ASX on track for its worst day of the year, and the biggest loss since the US election.
Weighing on sentiment are the worst session in over a month on Wall Street after the oil price plunged into a bear market, as well as a profit warning by insurer QBE.
“With oil also continuing its slide overnight, there’s be no positive news flow to offset the barrage of negativity over the last 24 hours, thus we’ve seen an aggressive broad-based sell-off today,” said Gary Huxtable, client adviser at Atlantic Pacific Securities.
He added that the lack of domestic and international economic data makes investors “extra sensitive to US leads and local corporate news.”
“QBE’s confession will be a motivation for investors to continue to lock in healthy gains prior to earnings season,” he said, adding that Retail Food Group’s downgrade to its profit forecast will have investors second-guessing if there’s more than meets the eye from some of their recent underperformers.
QBE shares are down more than 10 per cent today, while RFG have lost 9.8 per cent.