Investors face another bleak day of panic selling as they wait to hear what the Reserve Bank of Australia will do to ease economic pain.

Offshore equities and oil prices dived overnight amid confusion and fear about how long the deadly coronavirus, that’s sent countries into lockdown, will last.

Australia’s SPI200 futures contract was down 80 points, or 1.63 per cent, at 4834 points at 0800 AEDT on Thursday, suggesting Australia’s volatile market will also fall.

After sinking more than six per cent on Wednesday, the local market is down some 31 per cent since hitting a peak February 20.

Fears about the economic impact of the coronavirus is driving equities markets down as investors hope to see a peak in the number of cases.

“We’ve seen big falls in equities and oil, as well as widespread selling of government bonds, even gold is being ditched. The only winner is the US dollar,” NAB’s morning call note says.

It is understood the corporate regulator is holding discussions with investment banks to ensure they follow new rules to cut daily trading volumes by 25 per cent in a bid to prevent an overload of market systems.

IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda says it is getting uglier in global financial markets.

“The signs of stress are building everywhere, and it’s leading to a market environment of extreme panic,” he said.

“Investors … have returned to liquidating assets en masse, as confidence disappears the global economy can weather the COVID-19 ‘sudden stop’.”

“There are red flags everywhere, as fears build that the global economy is headed for recession, and the financial system is heading towards a crisis.”

The local market is waiting to hear the Reserve Bank’ of Australia’s monetary policy announcement on Thursday.

Economists expect it to cut interest rates and launch its first ever quantitative easing program.

Markets widely expect the RBA to cut the cash rate to a new record low 0.25 per cent.

The Australian dollar was buying 57.71 US cents at 0800 AEDT on Thursday down from 59.98 US cents on Wednesday, which was the lowest level since 2003.