Australian dollar sinks to lowest level in 17 years as stock market routs $105 billion

The Australian share market has lost more than $105 billion in another rough day for investors as the true economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis is realised.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 closed down 340 points or 6.43 per cent as heavy losses on airline and bank stocks dragged the market lower.

As of 16.30 AEDT the Aussie dollar was also hovering around US 60 cents, its lowest level since 2003.

© AAP The Aussie dollar dropped to its lowest level since 2009.

The market’s biggest loser was instant loan service Afterpay, which sunk 33 per cent to $12.76.

Tomorrow the Reserve Bank will make an interest rate policy announcement at 2.30 pm AEDT on Thursday, according to a post on its website.

The Reserve Bank of Australia had already said that Governor Philip Lowe would give a speech and conference call at 4pm but the timing of the policy statement is new.

© Google Finance Another $105 billion was routed off the stock market today.

Markets widely expect RBA will cut its main cash rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 0.25 per cent on Thursday and announce a move to quantitative easing, which includes buying government bonds, as part of a global effort to cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus.

The RBA usually makes announcements on the cash rate on the first Tuesday of the month but reserves the right to make these decisions outside this schedule.

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