ASX set to edge higher amid volatility

Australian stocks are poised to edge higher but analysts are anticipating another week dominated by COVID-19 volatility.

The SPI200 futures contract was up just six points, or 0.12 per cent, at 4,834 points at 0800 AEDT on Monday, suggesting modest early gains.

The federal government is expected to make an announcement on Monday about wage subsidies to keep Australians working during the coronavirus pandemic.

Nervousness remains high however, according to IG Marets’ Kyle Rodda, with sectors most exposed to the increased lock down of the economy.

“Consumer, real estate and financial stocks, (are) displaying the most volatility,” Rodda said in a note on Monday morning.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index gained two per cent in early trade on Friday but then faded throughout the day to finish Friday down 270.9 points, or 5.3 per cent, to 4,824.4.

For the week the market finished just 25.7 points up, or 0.5 per cent, with three days of gains totalling 567.2 points sandwiched by two days of losses on Monday and Friday.

Wall Street also fell in the final session of the week, ending a three-day surge as the number of coronavirus cases in the country climbed.

The number of COVID-19 cases continues to explode globally, most pertinently in the US.

The country’s reported case-load jumped to over 123,000 over the weekend, with the number of new daily cases still climbing day-by-day.

“If the market’s ultimate turnaround hinges on a “flattening over the curve” in the world’s largest economy, then logically, further downside in risk-assets ought to be assumed,” he said.

The Australian dollar was buying 61.56 US cents at 0800 AEDT, up from 61.08 US cents as the market closed on Friday.

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