The Australian share market plunged to near an eight year low, despite the launch of a A$66 billion (US$38 billion) stimulus package by the federal government.
The ASX200 closed down 5.62% on Monday at 4546, after initially slumping 8% when the market opened, touching a low of 4402.5.
The wider All Ordinaries closed down 5.98%, at 4564.1, after touching a low earlier in the day of 4429.1.
It was another tough day of trading for the ASX200 listed oil and gas players, with Woodside posting a 4.56% slump in its shares on Monday, to close at A$15.27 per share.
Oil Search was the hardest hit of the major energy players, with its shares sliding 19.66%, to A$1.88 per share, after the company announced it had scaled back activity in Papua New Guinea in response to the coronavirus.
Santos posted a 4.26% decline in its share price, to close at A$2.92, with the company announcing Monday it was likely to push back an investment decision on the Barossa development off northern Australia.
Meanwhile, Beach Energy recorded a 12.05% decline, to A$0.95 per share, and Origin Energy’s shares fell 9.95%, to A$3.80.
The rocky day on the share market came after the Australian government announced tough new measures over the weekend which saw pubs, clubs, gyms, cinemas as well as places of worship closed down on Monday, while restaurants and cafes are operating on a takeaway only basis.
Several Australian states and territories also announced on the weekend they would close their borders in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus. This was in addition to the federal government’s previous shut down of its borders to international travellers.
This has offset a second stimulus package announced over the weekend totalling about A$66 billion aimed at softening the blow of the virus on the economy.
Despite the stimulus efforts, many analysts believe it will not be enough to offset the country from tipping into recession as it deals with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As of Monday, Australia had more than 1700 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, with seven deaths attributed to the virus.
There are now more than 341,600 cases globally, with over 14,700 deaths, since the outbreak commenced late last year.