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Australia: Shares hit one and a half year lows on China fears

Monday, August 24, 2015 - 08:39
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Australian stocks slumped 4.09 per cent on Monday to close at their lowest levels in two years, on the back of falling oil prices and growing fears of a slowdown in the Chinese economy.

[SYDNEY] Australian shares skidded to their lowest level in 1-1/2 years on Monday morning as fears of a sharp economic slowdown in China triggered a fresh wave of selling in global equity markets.

By 0018 GMT, the S&P/ASX 200 index had tumbled 2.4 per cent, or 124.8 points, to 5,089.8 points, the lowest level since February 2014. It also marked the biggest percentage drop since May 2012.

The benchmark is on track for its worst month since the 2008 global financial crisis, having lost 10.6 per cent so far in August.

China is Australia's No. 1 trading partner, and a surfeit of grim indicators in the world's second-largest economy has forced investors across the globe to dump stocks.

REUTERS