The share market is sharply lower amid a broad sell-off and steep falls by the major banks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 0.9 per cent at 1200 AEST, with the market’s only gains coming from the mining sector.
CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner said investors were still selling bank shares due to the federal government’s planned levy on the five largest financial institutions.
A weak lead from Wall Street and concerns about US President Donald Trump reportedly sharing sensitive national security information with Russia have also hurt risk appetite, he said.
The latest data on wages growth had little impact on the market, as it matched economists’ expectations of 0.5 per cent for the March quarter, Mr Spooner added.
Westpac was the worst performer among the banks, down 1.8 per cent, Commonwealth Bank was down 1.7 per cent, National Australia Bank had shed 1.6 per cent, ANZ was 1.5 per cent weaker and Macquarie Group was down 0.9 per cent.
BHP Billiton had gained 0.4 per cent, Rio Tinto was up 1.9 per cent and Fortescue Metals was 3.4 per cent stronger, as iron ore prices improved.
Luxury handbag retailer Oroton had plunged 21 per cent to $1.065 after warning its full year earnings will fall by as much as 85 per cent.
Wesfarmers, the owner of Coles, Bunnings, Kmart and Target, was down 1.2 per cent after ruling out spinning off Officeworks via an initial public offering.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 50.9 points, or 0.87 per cent, at 5,799.6 points at 1200 AEST.
* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 47.5 points, or 0.81 per cent, to 5,834.7 points.
* The June SPI200 futures contract was down 58 points, or 0.99 per cent, to 5,796 points.
* National turnover was 739 million securities traded worth 1.7 billion.
CURRENCY UPDATE AT 1200 AEST:
* 74.13 US cents, from 74.24 US cents on Tuesday
* 83.49 Japanese yen, from 84.09 yen
* 66.80 euro cents, from 67.41 euro cents
* 57.37 British pence, from 57.44 pence
* 107.66 New Zealand cents, from 107.64 NZ cents
BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1200 AEST:
* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 1.746pct, from 1.773pct on Tuesday.
* CGS 4.75 per cent April 2027, 2.54pct, from 2.582pct.
Sydney Futures Exchange prices:
* June 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 98.21 (implying a yield of 1.79pct), from 98.18 (1.82pct) on Tuesday
* June 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.425 (2.575pct), from 97.385 (2.615pct).
(*Currency closes taken at 1700 AEDT previous local session, bond market closes taken at 1630 AEDT previous local session)