Shares are expected to fall in early trade on the ASX after rising coronavirus cases in parts of the US and China caused falls on Wall Street.
The Australian SPI 200 futures contract was lower by 36 points, or 0.60 per cent, to 5,972.0 at 0800 AEST on Thursday, indicating losses in share values early.
Worries over a resurgence in the pandemic’s spread persisted as new coronavirus cases hit a record in Oklahoma just days before US President Donald Trump’s expected campaign rally in that state.
The numbers of new cases are rising sharply in about six US states and authorities in Beijing have ramped up mobility restrictions in their efforts to contain a new COVID-19 outbreak.
The S&P 500 and the Dow reversed earlier gains to snap a three-day winning streak.
Tech shares led the Nasdaq to a modest gain.
In Australia on Thursday, employment estimates for May will be published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and give more insight into the toll of coronavirus lockdowns.
After a record fall in employment in April of 594,300 jobs, economists expect a smaller decline in May of 76,900 jobs.
The federal government has begun negotiations with the UK for a free trade agreement following the latter’s decision to leave the European Union.
The deal could be finalised before the end of the year.
Air New Zealand has told the share market it expects a $120 million underlying loss before tax for the 2020 financial year.
The airline is slowly resuming domestic flights after the New Zealand government eased virus restrictions.
The Australian dollar was buying 68.83 US cents at 0800 AEST, lower from 69.09 US cents at the close of trade on Wednesday.