ASX set for flat start as virus data looms

The Australian share market is tipped for a subdued start to the week as investors brace for an insight to just how hard the coronavirus has hit the local economy.

The ASX 200 futures was last trading just 1.0 point higher, or 0.02 per cent, having already absorbed gains from Wall Street stocks boosted by coronavirus treatment hopes and signs US president Donald Trump would reopen world’s largest economy.

This points to a flat open for the local benchmark as the market prepares to learn more about the economic impacts of COVID-19 restrictions.

Results of a new Australian Bureau of Statistics survey on the household impacts of COVID-19 will be released on Monday while weekly payroll and wages data on Tuesday will give some guidance on how employment and wages are tracking.

The ABS will also bring forward the release of March retail figures when it publishes preliminary numbers on Wednesday.

The ASX200 closed up 5.2 per cent for the holiday-shortened week, which was its fourth straight week of gains, and the best week since a 6.3 per cent gain in January 2016.

After plunging 38.8 per cent between February 20 and March 23, the market has risen 24.6 per cent.

The Australian dollar is worth 63.63 US cents, up from 63.40 US cents at Friday’s close.

One Australian dollar buys 68.44 Japanese yen from 68.29; 58.47 euro cents from 58.38; 50.79 British pence from 50.80; 105.41 NZ cents from 106.08.


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