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ASX set for subdued opening on virus cases

Close up of the new Australian 20 dollar note
Close up of the new Australian 20 dollar note

Shares are set for a subdued start on the ASX after an increased number of cases of COVID-19 in the US and Victoria worry investors.

The Australian SPI 200 futures contract was lower by 78.0 points, or 1.31 per cent, to 5,854.0 at 0800 AEST on Monday.

The local indices have a weak lead from Wall Street after the S&P 500 finished lower on Friday due to the virus and Apple temporarily shutting some stores again because of a spike in the number of coronavirus cases.

New cases of COVID-19 set records across at least six US states, and mandated mask use is becoming more common as economies continue re-opening.

The concerns outweighed anticipated economic stimulus and the continued economic recovery from many businesses re-opening.

In Australia, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has reimposed restrictions after 25 new coronavirus cases were recorded on Saturday and a further 19 on Sunday.

Most of the new cases in Victoria came from large family gatherings.

The federal government’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth said he had every confidence the outbreak would be brought under control.

Meanwhile Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe on Monday is due to speak at a leadership forum on the global economy and COVID-19 at the Australian National University in Canberra.

The Australian dollar was buying 68.19 US cents at 0800 AEST, down from 68.59 US cents at the close of trade on Friday.

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