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ASX set for slight fall early

Shares are tipped to fall slightly at the start of trade on the Australian market amid worries about economic recovery from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Australian SPI 200 futures contract was lower by 7.0 points, or 0.12 per cent, to 5885.0 point at 0800 AEST on Wednesday.

In the US, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell reiterated comments that the path of the economy is “highly uncertain” due to the virus impact.

He was testifying before Congress to help introduce a coronavirus economic rescue package.

The nation’s top infectious diseases expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, said there was no guarantee the United States will have an effective COVID-19 vaccine and warned the virus spread “could get very bad”.

He warned the number of daily new reported infections could surge to 100,000 if Americans do not start following public health recommendations.

The S&P 500 rallied to finish higher, gaining 47.05 points, or 1.54 per cent, to 3,100.29.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 217.08 points, or 0.85 per cent, to 25,812.88, and the Nasdaq Composite added 184.61 points, or 1.87 per cent, to 10,058.77.

In Australia today, economists will be watching data on building approvals for May and the manufacturing industry.

Meanwhile AMP has completed the sale of its life insurance business to Resolution Life, which may provide a boost for its share price.

The Australian dollar was higher on growing risk appetite, buying 69.02 US cents at 0800 AEST, higher from 68.54 US cents at the close of trade on Tuesday.

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