Australia’s stocks led losses across Asian markets after disappointing trade figures from the US raised fears over growth in the world’s largest economy.
The US trade numbers showed the country’s deficit jumped sharply to $51.4bn in March, its highest level in more than six years.
Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index closed down 2.3% at 5,692.20.
Shares were also held back by some worrying results from Australia’s biggest banks.
Investors are concerned about the country’s big four banks facing slower growth.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), one of the country’s biggest, reported flat profits of some 2.2bn Australian dollars ($1.74bn; £1.15bn) for the three months to March, compared with a year earlier.
The lender said the result was due to higher regulatory costs, but it follows disappointing half-year figures from rival Westpac.
Earlier in the week, ANZ reported better-than-expected half-year results, which analysts described as a “welcome relief”.
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