Australia’s roller coaster share market has dived almost two per cent amid a raft of profit warnings, cancelled flights and an unprecedented travel ban.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 99.9 points, or 1.89 per cent, at 5193.5 at 1015 AEDT as all indices except consumer staples and materials tumbled.
The broader All Ordinaries index was 98.1 points lower, or 1.84 per cent, at 5234.7 despite a surge on Wall Street overnight on a big stimulus plan.
Local investors have been waiting to hear about Australian measures to ease economic pain from the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has told Australians not to travel abroad and flagged further measures to stimulate the economy, without detailing them.
However Australia’s ailing airlines will be handed a $715 million federal government lifeline to help the sector through the coronavirus pandemic.
Regional carrier Rex has been urging government action, warning it could go under unless given help during the tumultuous period.
Property developer Mirvac joined the string of listed companies scrapping earnings guidance due to the Covid-19 pandemic on Wednesday.
Also on Wednesday data will be released giving a preliminary estimate for Australian retail turnover for February.
The Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to take further measures to protect the economy on Thursday.
The highly volatile local market had its best day ever on Tuesday, gaining 5.8 per cent, after its worst day ever on Monday, falling 9.7 per cent.
The Aussie dollar has dropped below 60 US cents for the first time since April 2003.
It was buying 59.88 US cents at 1015 AEDT on Wednesday from 60.86 US cents as the market closed on Tuesday.