The Australian share market is likely to see early losses after worries over rising coronavirus cases in the US caused a sharp drop on Wall Street.
The Australian SPI 200 futures contract was down by 92.0 points, or 1.55 per cent, to 5,837.0 at 0800 AEST on Thursday.
IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda said the anticipated sell-off would produce a level of price movement not seen on the ASX200 this week.
In the US, the S&P 500 skidded 2.6 per cent after new coronavirus cases climbed to the highest level in two months.
The United States has recorded the second-largest rise in infections since the health crisis began, with a flare-up of cases in states where restrictions meant to contain the disease were lifted early.
The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced that visitors from states with high coronavirus infection rates must quarantine for 14 days on arrival.
In more bearish news, the International Monetary Fund said it expects global output to shrink by 4.9 per cent, compared with a 3.0 per cent contraction predicted in April.
The IMF forecasts Australia’s economy will shrink by 4.5 per cent in 2020 and grow by four per cent in 2021.
Oil prices fell by more than 5.0 per cent on oversupply concerns, and gold reached its highest point since October 2012 with investors flocking to safe haven assets.
The share market on Wednesday closed slightly higher for a fourth straight day, with investors apparently afraid to push the ASX200 over the 6,000 level.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished Wednesday up 11.3 points 0.19 per cent, at 5,965.7 points, while the All Ordinaries index was up 12.3 points, or 0.2 per cent lower, at 6,081.6.
The Australian dollar slipped on lower risk appetite and buying 68.71 US cents at 0800 AEST, lower from 69.41 US cents at the close of trade on Wednesday.