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Share market plunges to 18-month low

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The Australian stock market has plunged again this morning, dropping to its lowest level since November 2020.

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The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 155.4 points, or 2.36 per cent, to 6,435 after the first hour of trade on Friday.

The broader All Ordinaries was down 2.4 per cent to 6,620.7.

The plunge came after Wall Street indices retreated further into bear market territory, with the S&P500 falling 3.3 per cent and the NASDAQ down 4.1 per cent.

Overnight, the Bank of England raised its key rate for the fifth time since December, opting for an increase of 0.25 percentage points.

Switzerland’s central bank raised rates for the first time in years, raising them half a point.

“The backdrop for equities right now is about as bad as it gets,” City Index analyst Tony Sycamore wrote in his morning note.

“Central banks’ determination to break the back of spiralling inflation at the cost of growth likely guarantees a recession during the first half of 2023.”

The ASX200 is down 11.1 per cent this month and 13.9 per cent this year.

All sectors were deeply in the red, with tech falling the most, by 4.3 per cent.

South Australia’s largest listed company Santos was down 2.8 per cent to $7.79 while the state’s next biggest company Oz Minerals was down more than 4 per cent to $20.52.

Australia’s largest company, BHP, was down 3.1 per cent to $42.66.

CBA was down 3.0 per cent to a 14-month low of $87.72. The other big banks were down by 1.5 to 3.0 per cent.

Goldminers were the only bright spot on the market, with Evolution up 4.4 per cent and Northern Star rising 3.4 per cent.

 – AAP

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