Australian shares slump early

Shares have slumped by more than 1.5 per cent early on the Australian market as investors fret over the impact of a continuing increase in coronavirus cases in the United States and other countries.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was lower by 100.7 points, or 1.71 per cent, at 5803.4 points after the first 15 minutes of trade on Monday.

The All Ordinaries index was 101.9 points, or 1.69 per cent lower, at 5909.9.

The energy sector fell 2.9 per cent. Its woes were compounded by falling oil prices.

Financials had the next biggest loss, down 2.63 per cent.

Property dropped 2.61 per cent, and consumer discretionary stock were down 1.99 per cent.

Stocks on Wall Street finished last week sharply lower as coronavirus infections in the US hit an all-time high, prompting states like Texas and Florida to reverse course on the reopening of businesses.

The virus cases have injected jitters into a US market that has been mostly riding high since April on hopes that the global economy will recover from a deep recession as businesses open doors.

The Australian dollar was buying 68.61 US cents at 1015 AEST, lower from 68.83 US cents at the close of trade on Friday.

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