An early ASX rally has been snuffed out, as the coronavirus slide continues

AAP Image/Bianca De March

The share market just can’t seem to shake off the coronavirus.

Despite etching out some early gains, the ASX 200 soon plunged to wipe more than 1.3% off the index within the first 40 minutes of trading on Wednesday. By the end of the session, it had lost a whopping 3.6% — more than what it gained the day prior.

It’s hardly the day traders were expecting. The ASX 200 had looked set to gain around 34 points or around 0.6% on Wednesday, according to futures, following a mighty rally on Wall Street that saw the S&P 500, Nasdaq and Dow Jones all gain nearly 5% overnight.

Investors were eagerly watching how much of that surge would carry over to the local Australian market. Positive news surrounding potential payroll reforms in the US had already been announced during Australia’s Tuesday session, with the possibility it may have been baked into the session’s late afternoon rally.

Any further details around a US fiscal stimulus package could help move markets higher again, with Washington suggesting it will soon announce a “very dramatic” economic plan. However, it appears for now, any concrete developments are some way off

The Australian government’s own plan, which is expected to be unveiled sometime this week, could also help buoy the ASX. There may already be some optimism with the Coalition reportedly committing to more than $2 billion in additional funding to stymie the outbreak locally.

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