SYDNEY, AAP – Australian shares have had their biggest one-day fall since September 2020 as investors panicked about interest rates rising sooner than expected.

The market lost 2.74 per cent on Thursday and all share categories dropped after minutes of the US Federal Reserve December meeting showed discussion about earlier rate hikes to slow inflation.

Technology shares were most affected and plunged 6.37 per cent.

The biggest ASX technology company, Afterpay, lost more than 10 per cent to $71.85.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed down 207.5 points, or 2.74 per cent, to 7358.3 points.

The All Ordinaries index closed lower by 220.3 points, or 2.79 per cent, to 7679.3 points.

Foreign exchange traders rushed for the US dollar following the projections of interest rate hikes.

The Aussie dollar lost value as a consequence. It was buying 71.73 US cents at 1618 AEDT, lower from 72.29 US cents at Wednesday’s close.