Shares shed $30 billion as market plunges on US recession fears: Economy roundup

Concerns about the health of the US and global economy have wiped more than $30 billion from the value of the Australian sharemarket today in early trade.

Concerns about the health of the US and global economy have wiped more than $30 billion from the value of the Australian sharemarket today in early trade.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 110.1 points, or 2.2%, to 4869.5 by 11:30am AEST, adding to a 1.6% fall on Thursday.

The sell off was sparked by a disastrous night on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones industrial average plunging 344.65 points, or 2.99%, on concerns about the labour market.

Weekly government data showed an unexpected jump in the number of filings for jobless benefits, while a report by ADP Employer Services showed private employers cut 33,000 jobs in August.

On the local market this morning the banks have taken the brunt of investor nervousness, with the big four banks all falling by more than 3%.

Wesfarmers, News Corporaton, IOOF and AMP have also been sold off heavily.

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