Having tumbled 1.7 per cent on opening, the ASX spent the rest of the day recouping around half the $35 billion it shed in the first 30 minutes as Asian markets took a battering with China's Shanghai Composite plunging $230 billion.
The benchmark ASX 200 ended down 0.9 per cent to 5,838 points, while the broader All Ordinaries was down 1 per cent.
The portents were not great with a meltdown on Wall Street dropping around 4 per cent overnight, taking it into "correction territory", down more than 10 per cent from its recent peak.
Wall Street has so far shed more than $US2 trillion in value since its peak on January 26.
Asia has been hammered
News out of Asia was not great either.
China's Shanghai Composite is down more than 4 per cent in afternoon trading, dropping an eye-watering $230 billion alone today.
China too has joined the US in the "correction" doghouse.
Elsewhere in Asia the sentiment was not much better.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng (-3.6 per cent), Japan's Nikkei (-3.2 per cent) and Korea's Kospi200 (-2.1 per cent) were deeply in the red.
Australia's banks remained remarkably resilient in face of the selling and the prospect of the royal commission opening on Monday.
Overall the banks were down 0.6 per cent, with NAB the standout edging marginally ahead over the day.
The miners lost around 0.8 per cent, while telcos (-1.9 per cent) and the interest rate sensitive utilities sector (-2 per cent) the hardest hit.
US futures edge higher
While it is no guarantee, early futures trading on Wall Street point to the rout being over, at least for the time being.
Both the Dow Jones and S&P500 futures are up 0.4 per cent in pre-session trade.
Safe-haven bets such as the Swiss franc and Japanese Yen absorbed much of the outflow of funds from global equities.
Off to the side, Bitcoins provided no shelter from the retreat from the old world financial tools slipping another 5 per cent to tumbled under $US8,000.
It is down more than 40 per cent from its recent peak, crashing through correction into bear market territory.