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Australia: Shares tumble 3.8% to two-year lows

Australian shares bucked a poor performance by Wall Street to edge 0.6 per cent higher on Thursday, aided by a hunt for dividend yield and more merger action.

[SYDNEY] Australian shares slumped 3.8 per cent on Monday to two-year lows as commodities and energy-related counters were hit hard by persistent worries about China's slowing economy.

The S&P/ASX 200 index tumbled 195.09 points to finish at 4,918.4, the lowest close since July 2013 and the biggest daily percentage drop since Aug. 24. The benchmark rose 1.4 per cent on Monday.

The index is now down nearly 10 per cent in the July-September quarter, on track for its worst quarterly performance since 2011. For the month, it is down 5.5 per cent, after slipping 8.6 per cent in August, its poorest monthly show since the global financial crisis.

Mining and trading giant Glencore saw its London-listed shares fall 30 per cent on Monday to record lows, while its Hong Kong stock slumped 27 per cent on Tuesday.

The S&P/ASX200 Energy index fell 6.7 per cent to a decade low while iron ore miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto dropped 6.4 per cent and 4.6 per cent respectively.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 1.52 per cent or 86.71 points to finish the session at 5612.42.