Australian share market tumbles amid threat of Greek exit from eurozone
Almost $40 billion were wiped off the Australian share market yesterday as investors braced for a possible Greek debt default and exit from the eurozone.
The S&P/ASX 200 and All Ordin- aries finished the day more than 2 per cent lower in one of the worst falls in the past two years.
Heightened fears of a Greek default and its possible exit from the euro monetary union sparked a risk-off sentiment, Australian Stock Report head of research Chris Conway said. “Investors and traders alike have wanted to sell down risk and move to the sidelines,” he said.
Australia’s major banks all tumbled by at least 2 per cent, with ANZ and Westpac suffering the heaviest falls of about 3 per cent. ANZ dumped $1.03 to $32.07, Westpac declined 99 cents to $32.02, Commonwealth Bank fell $1.96 to $84.69 and National Australia Bank was down 89 cents at $33.20.
As for the major miners, BHP Billiton was down 55 cents at $26.95, Rio Tinto shed 79 cents to $53.29 and Fortescue Metals was six cents weaker at $1.93.
Gold stocks finished in positive territory with Newcrest up 15 cents at $13.12, OceanaGold up 21 cents at $3.35 and Evolution Mining up 4.5 cents at $1.205. AAP