Aust stocks slump 1.5%

Local market follows Wall Street lower after downbeat Chinese industrial production data, continuing Russia-Ukraine jitters.

Downbeat Chinese industrial production data and fresh worries over the Russia-Ukraine situation weighed on the Australian sharemarket today, which followed Wall Street sharply lower.

At the 4.15pm (AEDT) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 83.2 points, or 1.54%, lower at 5,329.4 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index fell 82 points, or 1.51%, to 5,347.1.

The ASX200 shed $23.25 billion in value today and also closed the week 2.4% lower.

United States President Barack Obama said overnight the nation would be "forced to apply costs" to Moscow if Russia continued an aggressive path in the Ukraine.

On Sunday, a referendum will be held to decide whether Crimea should join Russia, and any increase in tensions could weigh on markets.

IG market strategist Stan Shamu said risk aversion is accelerating ahead of an uncertain weekend.

"The yen and gold have been the destinations of choice," Mr Shamu said.

"This tension has kept investors on the sidelines and resulted in sharp drops in equities throughout Asia."

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