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Flat start likely on ASX as lockdown eases

The Australian share market is set for a flat start to a week in which the easing of coronavirus restrictions could encourage investors.

The SPI 200 futures contract was up 3.0 points, or 0.06 per cent, to 5,405.0 at 0800 AEST on Monday, indicating little direction for early trade.

Major US stock indices closed trading higher last week, as did Australia’s S&P/ASX200 and All Ordinaries indices.

The US results were helped by data that showed 20.5 million US jobs were lost in April from the virus impact – a figure lower than economists feared.

AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver expected ASX traders’ attention to be on the relaxing of coronavirus lockdown measures this week.

Australian state and territory governments are giving people more freedom to mingle, and more businesses are reopening.

No major Australian economic data is scheduled on Monday.

Monthly employment figures will be published on Thursday.

Those numbers are expected to be bad but Oliver said they should already be factored into share market thinking.

One Australian dollar bought 65.23 US cents at 0800 AEST, the same as Friday’s close.

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