Australian stocks have plunged almost three per cent to a 10-month low as the coronavirus fallout hammers the local bourse for a seventh trading day.
The S&P/ASX200 index was down 178.3 points, or 2.77 per cent, at 6,262 at midday AEDT on Monday as stocks prices bled red across the board.
The broader All Ordinaries index plummeted 187.6 points, or 2.88 per cent, to 6,323.9 points after global markets fell on Friday amid fears about the impact of the coronavirus on global growth.
IG market analyst Kyle Rodda says the weekend delivered even more bad coronavirus news as well as disappointing Chinese economic data.
“Italy, Iran and South Korea reported another spike in coronavirus cases, with several countries announcing an expanding travel blacklist,” he said.
“The first death from the disease was reported in the Unites States, and in Australia.
“And in what’s probably the most impactful news from a markets perspective, China released its latest PMI surveys, with the data showing business activity in the Chinese economy fell to an all-time low last month.”
No sectors were spared in Monday’s sell-off that saw the Australian market fall to 10-month lows as investors faced margin calls and were forced to sell to top up account balances.
More analysts than not are now predicting the Reserve Bank of Australia will cuts rates again on Tuesday.
Investors are hoping for news from financial regulators who have been discussing the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the Australian economy.
The materials index was down 3.6 per cent as mining heavyweights and goldminers fell at noon.
Newcrest lost 40.5 cents, or 1.54 per cent, to $25.89 while Northern Star dived 75 cents, or 5.57 per cent, to $12.71.
Takeover target Caltex lost $1.23, or 3.76 per cent, to $31.47 after telling Britain’s EG Group it has not offered it enough money but wants to continue talks about a sale.
The big banks were down between 3.21 per cent to 4.14 per cent at noon but there was a tiny glimmer of green in supermarkets.
Coles was up 28 cents, or 1.97 per cent, at $14.49 while Woolworths tumbled 85 cents, or 2.19 per cent, to $37.95
The Australian dollar was buying 65.06 US cents at midday AEDT, down from 65.22 US cents on Friday.