Commodities tank as stock market sheds $41b in one morning

THE Australian share market dived below 5000 points on Tuesday, fuelled by poor industrial profits in China and a subsequent sell-off of resources stocks around the world.

With the US and European markets closing down as much as 3%, investors in Australia followed suit.

At the official market close the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 195.1 points, or 3.82%, to 4918.4, and the broader All Ordinaries index had shed 187 points, or 3.63%, to sit on 4958.1.

With China posting its weakest industrial profits in four years - adding to the woes of commodities giant Glencore, whose shares dropped 30% on the London exchange on Monday night - copper, nickel, aluminium and oil all declined.

Resources stocks propelled the market fall in Australia. Global miner BHP Billiton lost 6.65% to close on $21.61; Rio Tinto shed 4.57% to $46.52 and Fortescue Metals was down 6.44% to $1.67.

The big four banks all finished down - the Commonwealth Bank losing $2.55 to $70.15, Westpac $1.14 to $29.10, National Australia Bank $1.10 to $29.20 and ANZ $1.02 to $26.38.