The New Zealand stocks look set to open weaker in the response to sharp fall in US and other major markets, but brokers are not expecting a bloodbath.
America's benchmark S&P 500 fell 3.5 per cent, its biggest one-day loss since June, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped 3.7 per cent as Covid-19 concerns continued to mount.
New Zealand's S&P/NZX50 index closed on Wednesday at 12,264.52.
Local trade resumes at 10 am.
"It will probably not be a bloodbath but, as is often the case, I think New Zealand market will prove more resilient than some of the others," Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners said.
In the US, next week's election and a renewed spotlight on the technology sector was further undermining sentiment.
"The reality is hitting home that the virus is not behind us," Lister said.
This week France went into full lockdown, as have other parts of Europe, and the rate of infection continues to escalate in the US.
"It's a reminder that this is going to be a stop-start recovery," Lister said.
"Our market is in better shape but will it will feel the effecgt of global nervousness," he said.
As in previous market meltdowns, defensive stocks in the electricity sector, property trust, and retirement village and healthcare sectors should be well supported, Lister said.
European stocks slumped to their lowest level since May, with the region-wide Stoxx 600 index fell 3 per cent on Wednesday.
London's FTSE index dropped by 2.8 per cent.