February 25, 2020 / 9:21 PM / in a month

Australian shares set to drop over 2% at open, NZ falls

    Feb 26 (Reuters) - Australian shares were poised to slump at
open on Wednesday, the fourth straight session of declines, as
the rapid global spread of the coronavirus beyond China rattled
risk sentiment. 
    With an acceleration of confirmed virus cases in several
countries such as South Korea and Iran, the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention late on Wednesday said Americans
should begin to prepare for the U.S. spread of the new
    The local share price index futures          fell 2.3%, a
198.6-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index        
close. The benchmark closed down 1.6% on Tuesday.
    New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index         declined
1.9% by 2107 GMT.

 (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru
Editing by Chris Reese)
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