The Australian share market has tumbled to its lowest level in 12 months, with the indices suffering significant losses across the board after a dive on Wall Street overnight.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 164.9 points, or 2.83 per cent, at 5664.1 points on Thursday, while the broader All Ordinaries was down 2.82 per cent.

Rakuten Securities Australia’s chief operating officer Nick Twidale says the market has well and truly entered a correction stage but says the indices will get worse before they get better.

“Until we see something tangible to change investor sentiment then I think we’ve got more downside coming for global stock markets, growth expectations and risk assets,” he said

Thursday’s tumble follows a fall by US stocks overnight, which confirmed a correction too for the Nasdaq and erased the Dow and S&P 500’s gains for the year amid disappointing earnings, economic growth concerns, a spat between Italy and the European Union and the killing of a Saudi journalist.

The dive also continues the ASX’s worst month in more than three years, the market is down more than eight per cent for October – and 10 per cent since August – edging ever closer to an 18-month low of February 2016 in its fifth straight session of losses.

Energy stocks are enduring their worst month since September 2015 and lost another 2.65 per cent on Thursday on flat oil prices.

Resources fell further, with giants BHP and Rio Tinto shedding 3.96 and 4.52 per cent respectively, while Fortescue Metals lost 5.7 per cent after reporting a fall in first-quarter iron ore shipments.

Only a few of the gold miners, buoyed by an uptick in gold prices, speckled the market with a bit of green.

The big four banks were down about two and a half per cent each, while Macquarie Group was down 3.2 per cent.

Shares in troubled wealth manager AMP were in free fall, down 24.5 per cent to $2.50 at close, after announcing it will sell its Australian and New Zealand wealth protection and mature businesses to London-based insurance firm Resolution Life for $3.3 billion.

As global share markets crumbled for a second day, the Australian dollar held its nerve while losses on Wall Street and a sharp drop in Treasury yields hindered its US counterpart.

The Aussie was buying 70.74 US cents at 1630 AEDT, from 70.99 US cents on Wednesday.


* The S&P/ASX200 closed down 164.9 points, or 2.83 per cent, at 5664.1 points

* The All Ordinaries closed down 167 points, or 2.82 per cent, at 5759.5 points

* At 1630 AEDT, the SPI200 futures index was down 167 points, or 2.88 per cent, at 5627.0 points.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 70.74 US cents, from 70.99 US cents on Wednesday

* 79.26 Japanese yen, from 79.91

* 62.00 euro cents, from 61.90

* 54.90 British pence, from 54.68

* 108.49 NZ cents, from 108.20


The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1630 AEDT was $US1,236.6 per fine ounce, from $US1,232.2 on Wednesday.