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Shares to dip after US markets end lower

Australian shares are likely to start lower after US markets dropped on worries over surging coronavirus cases in the country and profit-taking after a recent rally.

The Australian SPI 200 futures contract was lower by 30.0 points, or 0.50 per cent, to 5959.0 points at 0800 AEST on Wednesday.

The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all dropped overnight after large parts of the US reported tens of thousands of new coronavirus infections.

New York expanded its travel quarantine for visitors from three more states, while Florida’s greater Miami area rolled back its reopening.

Strategists said investors may also be taking profits after the recent run higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.51 per cent to 25,890.18, the S&P 500 lost 1.08 per cent to 3,145.32 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.86 per cent to 10,343.89.

On the Australian market this morning, casino operator Sky City Entertainment has completed a $50 million share purchase plan as part of a $230 million equity raising.

The ASX on Tuesday gave up all early gains after a Victoria, Australia’s second most populous state, reported a record 191 new cases of the virus.

Investors’ fears of economic impact were justified when Premier Daniel Andrews ordered Melbourne back into lockdown for six weeks.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark closed lower by 1.7 points, or 0.03 per cent, at 6,012.9.

Global oil prices were little changed as demand concerns due to a new surge in coronavirus cases overshadowed US government forecasts for lower production.

Brent crude futures settled at $US43.08 a barrel, down 2 US cents.

The Australian dollar was buying 69.45 US cents at 0800 AEST, down from 69.52 US cents at the close of trade on Tuesday.

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