RTTNews - The Australian stock market ended sharply lower on Tuesday, taking cues from Wall Street, where stocks ended deep in the red after the World Bank slashed its global growth forecast for 2009. Commodities prices declined sharply, while the U.S. dollar gained against the major currencies. The grim outlook for the economy dented recovery hopes and triggered an across-the-board selling, with commodity stocks spearheading the declines.

In the U.S., the major averages declined sharply after World Bank's forecast s and warning that there will be a large decline in international capital flows amidst financial market fragility.

The Dow finished down by 200.72 points or 2.4% at 8,339, the Nasdaq fell by 61.28 points or 3.4% to close at 1,766 and the S&P 500 dropped 28.19 points or 3.1% to close at 893.

The All Ordinaries Index opened unchanged from its previous close at 3,911, but it slipped into negative territory sharply by nearly 100 points in early trading before moving sideways for the rest of the session. The index ended with a loss of 117.80 points, or 3.01%, at 3,793. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index followed a similar trend and ended lower at 3,797, representing a loss of 121.9 points, or 3.10%.

Light sweet crude oil futures for August delivery ended the Asian session down $0.33 at $66.60 a barrel. Yesterday, in New York , the July futures expired at $66.93 a barrel, down $2.52

Material stocks led the declines on weak commodity prices. BHP Billiton declined 4.11%, Centennial Coal slumped 11.24%, Fortescue Metals lost 9.83%, Oz Minerals fell 5.35% and Rio Tinto shed 2.78%.

Gold stocks ended in negative territory on lower gold prices. Lihir Gold fell 3.07%, Newcrest Mining lost 3.93% and Sino Gold declined 1.85%.

Oil stocks ended weaker following a drop in crude oil prices. Woodside Petroleum shed 2.49%, Santos lost 3.88% and Oil Search fell 3.47%.

Financials also ended in negative territory on concerns about a global recovery. ANZ Bank lost 3.32%, Commonwealth Bank Australia shed 3.82%, National Australia Bank declined 3.52% and Westpac Banking shed 4.52%.

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