Shares on the ASX have taken a dive in early trades this morning lead by falling share prices in large resource firms and banks. After yesterdays new that BHP Billiton had its credit rating downgraded from an A+ to an A by ratings agency Standard & Poor’s it’s share price had fallen 4.3% to $14.28 shortly before 10:30am (AEDT).
BHP’s major rival Rio Tinto’s share price fell 1.9% to $36.82 after it too was placed on a negative ratings watch by S&P.
Oil and Gas producers are also feeling the pain today with sector heavyweight Woodside down 2 per cent to $26.46.
The other major contributing factor on the ASX today is the banking sector with NAB suffering a particularly large fall with shares falling 4.9% to $26.54 so far.
The remaining three of the big four banks are also suffering declines, with ANZ down by 1.6%t, CBA down 1.3% and Westpac falling 1.1%.
Retailers were also caught up in the falls, with Woolworths down by 0.75% and Wesfarmers down 14 cents to $42.68.
Myer, Harvey Norman, Kathmandu, and JB Hi-Fi were also posting falls in the 1-2% range.
Even Qantas, which usually benefits when oil prices slide, was 1.4% lower.
Overall, the ASX 200 is down by 1.3% to 4,928.