ASX reports fall of 3.5%

The Australian stock market fell by more than 3.5% last week over fears of escalations in the US/China trade war.

Since 1 October, the ASX 200 fell 3.7% while the All Ordinaries fell 3.5%, according to FE Analytics.

The fall was caused by weak economic data in the United States and a World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling which paved the way for US$7.5 billion in US tariffs on EU goods. This added to existing worries about a global recession and mounting trade risks.

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The Big Four banks were all affected by the fall with National Australia Bank (NAB) seeing the biggest fall at 5.7%. This was exacerbated by an announcement on 1 October that the bank would set aside $1.18 billion for customer compensation related to insurance and financial advice.

This was followed by Commonwealth Bank with falls of 4.3%, ANZ at 4.2% and Westpac at 3.8%.

Other companies which saw major falls included Telstra, which fell 3.1%, and Wesfarmers which saw a fall of 2.6%.

Globally, Australia was far from the only market affected by the volatility. The S&P 500 in the United States was down 2.2%, the German DAX was down 2.9% and the FTSE 100 in the UK was down 3.7% over the same period, in Australian dollar terms.

Performance of Westpac, ANZ, Commonwealth Bank and NAB from 30 September to 3 October, 2019.

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