At 10:25am the All Ordinaries was down a massive 207 points, or 6.7 per cent for the day, before recovering slightly to be at 2930.8, down 165.2 points, or down 5.34 per cent, at approximately 11:00am.
Not surprisingly, among the biggest losers were tech stocks. In early trade the technology blood-letting was led by SecureNet, down $2.65; Kaz Computers, down $2.00; Solution 6 down $2.75; Sausage Software down $1.80; and Open Telecommunications, down $2.70 to $6.90. Last week, Open Telecommunications fell 29.7 per cent alone.
Also down were media stocks led by News Corp, down $2.75 to $17.85, and Kerry Packer's PBL, down $1.20 to $11.80. News Corp shares were not helped by news released on the weekend that News' chairman and CEO, Rupert Murdoch, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
However, media and tech stocks were not the only sectors to suffer as losses were across the board. The ASX200 fell more than 5 per cent, while its high-flying counterpart, the ASX20, also dropped 101.6 points or 5.28 per cent.
Amid the bedlam, local IT recruitment consultancy company HiTech Personnel listed on the ASX this morning. The company saw its shares, issued at 70 cents, fall to 58 cents within 15 minutes of listing. The company raised $3,745,000 through its IPO.