Austalian Market down 6 per cent : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Market down 6 per cent By XAVIER LA CANNA Source: age | Published: Monday April 17, 10:33 AM

The Australian sharemarket had more than 180 points and was down nearly 6 per cent shortly after opening today.

At 10.30am 181.9 points had been wiped off the market as shareholders rushed to offload technology stocks after a plunge on New York's NASDAQ index fell 9.7 per cent on Friday and had lost 25.3 per cent during the last week.

Sausage Software was among the worst hit, losing 41 per cent of its value, or $1.83, to be worth $2.60 a share.

Other stocks to fare badly included Solution 6, down $2.70 to $5.00 a share, and ERG Ltd, which lost $1.15 to be worth $9.20 a share.

Lucinda Chan of Macquarie Equities said telecommunications companies also fared badly in this morning's trade, with Telstra down 41 cents to $7.08 a share and Optus down 55 cents to $5.42.

Despite the falls Ms Chan said the Australian dollar was holding up well and a short time ago was worth 60.2 US cents.

She said while the market over-reacted at the start of trade, it showed signs of stabilising as the morning progressed.

Despite the market dive, which was widely expected, the Prime Minister, John Howard, told radio listeners before the start of trading that the fundamentals of the Australian economy were solid and the world economy was very strong "in a generic way".

"There has been a rebound within the Asian economies, Europe is getting better, Japan is showing signs of recovery, so if you look at the economic fundamentals ... they're all very positive," he said.

The volatile stockmarket may further destabilise the Australian dollar and could affect interest rates.

-- Martin Thompson (, April 16, 2000

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