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Australia: Stocks close 4.09 per cent lower

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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 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.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index ended 213.3 points lower at 5,001.3, mirroring a rout in equities across Asia with energy and financial stocks among the biggest losers in a sea of red.

"There are not any strong macro reasons for a rally yet. However, it is important to keep an eye on this as a lot of stocks are seeing their values become increasingly competitive," said IG Markets' analyst Angus Nicholson.

"The main factor for Australia, as with most global markets, will be moves out of China." The Australian market last plumbed such depths in July 2013.

Among major stocks, the Commonwealth Bank fell 4.13 per cent to A$72.47, BHP Billiton gave up 5.02 per cent to end at A$22.89 and fellow mining giant Rio Tinto plunged 5.15 per cent to A$46.97.

AFP