Shares in Australia drop nearly 2% following overnight Wall Street plunge

SINGAPORE — Shares in Australia fell in morning trade on Thursday following an overnight plunge on Wall Street as coronavirus cases continue to surge in the West.

The S&P/ASX 200 dropped about 1.7% as shares of Australia’s so-called Big Four banks declined: Commonwealth Bank of Australia dipped 0.69%, Westpac slipped 1.64%, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group fell 2.82% and National Australia Bank shed 1.67%.

Meanwhile, futures pointed to a lower open for stocks in Japan. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 23,090 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 23,070. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 23,418.51.

The sustained increase in coronavirus cases seen in the U.S. as well as across Europe is likely to weigh on investor sentiment.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.405 after seeing a jump from levels below 93.2 earlier.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7043 after yesterday’s sharp drop from above $0.712.

What’s on tap:

  • Japan: Retail sales data for September at 7:50 a.m. HK/SIN, Bank of Japan’s interest rate decision and quarterly outlook report

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