A fresh round of selling Tuesday saw Australian shares give up 3.6 per cent at the opening bell as investors reacted to the huge losses on Wall Street.

The ASX 200 index lost 150 points, or 3.6 per cent, to trade at 3,840 after diving below the 4,000-mark for the first time in two years on Monday.

The market is now 20 per cent below its April peak, with over 125 billion Australian dollars (130 billion US dollars) wiped off the value of shares in six trading days.

The Australian dollar was also sold off, with the local currency trading at 1.0196 US dollars, down from 1.0355 US dollars on Monday.

Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at brokerage CMC Markets, said panic selling was driving the global sell-off.

“Overall, the numbers aren’t suggesting there’s a recession coming,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “This is all about fears of what could happen rather than what’s actually happening.”

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