Market shake-down

THE Australian share market shook investors on Friday last week when it recorded its worst fall since October 2005 as a result of US inflation fears, higher global interest rates and falling commodity prices. Australian resource stocks including copper, zinc and aluminium producers took a hit from investors, dropping up to 12 per cent in value due to the fallout in commodity markets. The Australian sell-off wiped 70.1 points from the S&P-ASX 200 to 5030.8, taking its losses to 6.5 percent from its May 11 peak of 5380.5. Volatility is likely to continue in global share markets, while the Australian market is expected to soften further due to weakening base metal prices. Iron ore negotiations will bring some relief to investors with Australia’s mining giants securing a 19 per cent contract price increase for iron ore exports but mining stocks have been softer early in the week and the Australian dollar weakened too.

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