IT IS thought to be the worst day for Australian shares since the US election, triggered by a sudden sell-off on Wall Street overnight.
Shares in financials, mining and energy all suffered the most, as the S&P/ASX200 index tumbled 1.3% within 30 minutes of trade opening on Wednesday.
The jitters come from Wall Street's fears that US President Donald Trump may not be able to deliver the tax cuts he promised, and which pushed shares up in recent months.
AxiTrader chief market strategist Greg McKenna told The Australian the global markets as "an ugly sea of red" as traders grew concerned that benefits from the president's economic policies could be delayed.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.14%, while the S&P 500 lost 1.24%.
Each suffered their worst one-day results since before Mr Trump was elected in November.
The four big banks were not immune, with shares falling between 1.5 and 2%.
BHP Biliton was a big loser, alongside fellow miner Rio Tinto, as their shares fell by close to 2.5%.
The Australian dollar too has lost its footing, trading at 76.73 US cents at 9.42am AEST today, down from 77.05 the day before.
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