ASX dives at open as banks lead slide

The Australian share market has opened sharply lower, mirroring falls on Wall Street overnight.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 95.1 points, or 1.41 per cent, to 6,647.7 points at 1030 AEST on Wednesday, while the broader All Ordinaries was down 90.4 points, or 1.32 per cent, to 6,762.6 points.

The financial sector led losses in the first half hour of trading, slumping 1.85 per cent, a day after the Reserve Bank of Australia made its third cut to the cash rate this year in a move likely to trim lenders’ profit margins.

The big four banks were all lower, with ANZ down 1.47 per cent to $28.07, Commonwealth down 1.94 per cent to $79.705, NAB down 2.86 per cent to $28.85 and Westpac down 1.58 per cent to $29.23.

NAB announced on Wednesday morning that it faced additional costs of $1.18 billion related to customer remediation and software changes.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank was down 1.64 per cent, Bank of Queensland was down 1.01 per cent and Macquarie Group was down 1.58 per cent.

The materials, energy, industrials, healthcare, utilities and tech sectors also fell more than 1.0 per cent each while no segment of the ASX was able to advance.

Mining giant BHP was down 1.97 per cent to $36.27, Rio Tinto was down 2.21 per cent to $90.55 and Fortescue Metals was down 0.91 per cent to $8.67.

Northern Star gained 2.36 per cent while fellow gold miner Newcrest edged up 0.12 per cent.

US stocks tumbled after the release of manufacturing data that indicated activity at the country’s factories fell to a 10-year low in September.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 1.28 per cent, the S&P 500 was down 1.23 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was down 1.13 per cent.

The Aussie dollar is buying 67.13 US cents, from 67.02 US cents on Tuesday.


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