Broad-based losses to the local indices dragged the Australian share market down following a sell-off on Wall Street overnight and weakening oil prices.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed 107.1 points lower, or 1.8 per cent, at 5834.2 on Tuesday, while the broader All Ordinaries was down 1.74 per cent.
Banking, health and tech stocks were down by more than two per cent, while mining and energy lost two per cent each.
Markets across Asia were at the mercy of a slide on Wall Street, particularly from the tech-heavy Nasdaq which fell after Apple shares dropped 4.7 per cent, Bell Direct equities analyst Julia Lee said.
“The key thing is whether or not we’ve seen earnings and margins growth peaking for the tech stocks and I think that’s what is causing the volatility in the markets,” she told AAP.
Banks dragged with Westpac plummeting more than five per cent to $26.24 after going ex-dividend and the Federal Court refused to approve its agreed $35 million fine over lending practices.
Commonwealth Bank, NAB, and ANZ lost between 1.2 per cent and 1.5 per cent, while Macquarie Group was down 2.1 per cent to $119.43.
Energy stocks tumbled 1.9 per cent on weaker US crude prices which turned negative following a tweet from US President Donald Trump on supply.
Woodside Petroleum and Oil Search fell 2.4 and 2.7 per cent respectively, while Santos and Origin Energy lost 1.9 and 1.7 per cent.
The big miners suffered too, after an overnight drop in base metals and iron ore, with Rio Tinto down 2.5 per cent to $80.51 and BHP 1.7 per cent lower at $32.85.
There was no refuge for the gold miners either, with Newcrest, Northern Star and Saracen Mineral down on weaker gold prices.
The local tech sector followed its US counterpart with Wisetech Global and Afterpay shares falling 3.7 per cent and six per cent respectively.
Health care benchmark CSL dragged, falling 2.6 per cent to $187.89, while Cochlear and ResMed were down 4.2 and 3.2 per cent respectively.
In companies news, shares in explosives company Incitec Pivot fell more than five per cent to $4.01 after reporting a 34.8 per cent drop in full-year profit to $207.9 million.
Ruralco was the latest farm sector player to credit drought-necessitated diversification for a lift in profit, despite cattle and real estate prices flattening amid an ongoing dry spell.
Ruralco shares were one of the rare gains, up 7.2 per cent to $3.12.
The Australian dollar reversed earlier losses on a media report China’s top trade war negotiator was heading to the United States to prepare for talks between the two countries’ leaders.
The Aussie was buying 72.16 US cents at 1630 AEDT from 72.42 on Monday.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed 107.1 points lower, or 1.8 per cent, at 5834.2
* The All Ordinaries was 104.6 points lower, or 1.74 per cent, at 5922.6
* At 1630 AEDT, the SPI200 futures index was down 100 points, or 1.69 per cent, at 5831 points
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 72.16 US cents, from 72.17 US cents, cents on Monday
* 82.26 Japanese yen, from 82.28
* 64.16 euro cents, from 63.81
* 56.03 British pence, from 55.93
* 106.90 NZ cents, from 107.17
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1630 AEDT was $US1204.60 per fine ounce, from $US1208.72 on Monday.