Australian Stocks Follow Region Down Sharply On Greek Turmoil

By Michael KitchenMarketWatch Pulse

Australian stocks took a slap to the face Monday morning from news of a Greek referendum on the country's bailout terms raising the odds of a sovereign default. The S&P/ASX 200 dropped 2.1%, in concert with other Asian stock indexes. Banks, especially sensitive to the resutling volatility on the markets, were all solidly lower, with Westpac Banking Corp. down 2.3% and Macquarie Group Ltd. down 2.6%, while mining majors extended losses, as Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. dropped 3.9% and South32 Ltd. gave up 2.7%. After rallies late last week on promising drilling results from their joint venture, stock in Sandfire Resources and Talisman Mining Ltd. lost 8.1% and 9.4%, respectively. But some gold miners rose, as the yellow metal gained due to safe-haven buying amid the Greek crisis. Stock in Evolution Mining Ltd. rose 3.5%, while Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. added 1.4%.

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