The Australian share market has lurched back into the red after US stocks were hammered overnight on warnings of a mounting coronavirus death toll.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was down 178.3 points, or 3.39 per cent, at 5,080.3 at 1015 AEDT on Thursday, having earlier fallen by more than 3.5 per cent amid more COVID-19 volatility.

The All Ordinaries index was also down, plunging 178.4 points, or 3.37 per cent, to 5,112.3 after the first 15 minutes of trading.

Banks, property and consumer discretionary stocks were the hardest hit.

Thursday’s opening fall comes after 3.58 per cent rise for the S&P/ASX200 benchmark index on Wednesday, when the market surged even as the Reserve Bank released minutes from a meeting a fortnight ago showing members were worried about the likelihood of a recession.

Wall Street, however, suffered more losses overnight after US health officials warned the death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic will surge.

The Dow Jones and S&P 500 indexes slumped after suffering their worst first quarter as President Donald Trump warned of a “painful” two weeks ahead for Americans.

Weak US payroll data also stoked concerns of a economic downturn as lockdown measures intensify in a bid to combat the spread of the virus.

The Australian dollar is buying 60.83 US cents, down from 61.80 US cents as the market closed on Wednesday.