The Australian share market has plunged three per cent in its worst day in six weeks, snapping a seven-day winning streak.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed Thursday down 187.8 points, or 3.05 per cent, at 5,960.6 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index closed down 189.8 points, or 3.03 per cent lower, at 6,079.5.

The Australian dollar was buying 69.27 US cents, down from 69.95 US cents at the close of trade on Wednesday.