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Billions lost at Australian Share Markets

Do you have a Sustainability Strategy ready?

Australian share prices have plummeted since the start of 2008, driven by the exposure of local banks and financial institutions to the US credit crisis. It is becoming increasingly clear that the Australian economy as a whole is far from immune to the impact of a US recession, despite a prolonged local boom based on mining exports.

By January 19, more than $147 billion had been lost from the value of shares since the beginning of the year, with the S&P/ASX index down some 9 percent. It was the 10th consecutive fall, the longest run since September 1990. The index had fallen 15.8 percent from its peak of 6828.7 points on November 1, also marking the weakest start to a calendar year for 17 years. Since the US sub-prime collapse began in the middle of last year, the market has now fallen twice by more than 10 percent.

The latest price slide, which has been accompanied by large losses across East Asian markets, has exceeded the falls on Wall Street itself. According to the Australian Financial Review, the Australian market has suffered its “worst losing streak since 2000”—when the dot-com bubble burst—“as increasing concerns that the United States is in the grip of recession ramped up the sell-off across global equities”.

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