Australian shares today dropped sharply on Europe’s debt crisis, weak data out of the US, and concerns corporate profits will be restricted due the recently announced carbon tax plan.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard yesterday outlined the nation’s controversial carbon tax plan. Under the new tax regime, Australia’s 500 biggest polluters will be charged $23 for every tonne of carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere. Concerns that this will affect profits weighed heavily on the S&P Top 20 today. However renewable energy stocks and carbon sequestration stocks made modest gains.
Of the major sectors, energy and financial stocks tumbled 2%, while materials retreated 1.7%.
At the close of the market, the S&P/ASX 200 finished 72.4 points lower to 4582.3, and the All Ordinaries index fell 69.2 points.
Further declines are expected on Tuesday, with US market futures in the red, normally followed closely by the ASX.