Australian shares face another hammering after big falls on US equity markets overnight following a warning for Americans to prepare for the coronavirus.

The SPI200 futures contract was down 162 points, or 2.37 per cent, at 6,664 at 0800 AEDT on Wednesday, pointing to another sharp fall when the local market opens.

Local stocks lost $37.8 billion in value on Tuesday in the Australian share market’s second worst day of 2020, following Monday’s 2.25 per cent plunge.

It was followed by a sell-off overnight on US markets after the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said Americans should begin to prepare for community spread of the new coronavirus.

Oil prices also continued their fall on fears of a demand hit from the flu-like virus that has infected more than 80,000 people.

In local news on Wednesday, Nine, Rio Tinto, Red Bubble, Woolworths and Vodafone-Hutchison are due to report their results.

The Australian dollar was buying 65.97 US cents at 0800 AEDT on Wednesday, down from 66.12 US cents on Tuesday.