Note: This article will be updated with the latest ASX figures at market close.
Australian shares tumbled Friday but still managed to finish off a fourth consecutive month of gains.
The crazy gains since the Covid-19-induced crash in late February and March made many experts fear a second plunge.
Finance commentator Rod North has declared July 31 the start of a downturn.
“Sharemarket off nearly 2 per cent today. The Meltdown Phase has begun,” North told Yahoo Finance.
Super Retail Group, parent company of retail brands Rebel, Supercheap Auto and BCF, went against the grain to boost its stock price by 9.25 per cent, to hit $8.86.
Under siege financial institution AMP lost a frightening 12.68 per cent off its shares when the market mercifully closed.
What happened at lunchtime?
The Australian stock market has crashed Friday morning, exceeding losses in the US overnight.
But one share bucking the trend was Super Retail Group, which is the parent company behind chains like Rebel Sport, Supercheap Auto and BCF.
Its shares had risen a stunning 10.85 per cent by 11:52am AEST ($8.99), after announcing its sales in the second half of 2020 financial year were better than expected.
What happened this morning?
Australian shares were down in early trade Friday, after the US market dipped overnight.
Local investors will be keeping an eye on Victoria's Covid-19 numbers Friday morning, after the state reported Thursday its worst figures ever.
What happened overnight?
Two of the three major Wall Street indices ended negative overnight, rattled by US president Donald Trump proposing a delayed election.
The unprecedented suggestion to extend his term made markets nervous, as well as the uncertainty over the future of additional unemployment benefits currently under negotiation in congress.
Fresh gross domestic product figures for America also showed the country would suffer its worst contraction since the Great Depression in the 1930s, which didn't help investor sentiment either.
Abbot Downing deputy chief investment officer Carol Schleif told AAP that most of the damage happened early in the trading day – like everything falling out of a packed closet.
"You open the door, it comes piling out, you're frightened and then you settle down and start picking stuff up and putting it back where it belongs."
The Dow Jones Industrial went down 0.85 per cent, the S&P500 sunk 0.38 per cent, but the NASDAQ added 0.43 per cent.
The pessimism in the US stocks saw Australia's SPI200 futures heading down 0.47 per cent at 8am AEST Friday.
– with AAP