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More falls in store for shareholders

The Australian stock market is set for another slide as the battle against the coronavirus shuts down global economies.

The SPI200 futures contract was down 87 points, or 1.81 per cent, at 4708 points at 0800 AEDT on Monday, suggesting an almost two per cent fall for local shares when trade begins.

IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda says it could be sharper than 87 points after a sell-off in US stocks on Friday night, as well as the negative weekend news flow.

“The damage may prove a little more profound this morning, as market participants digest the weekend’s bans on ‘non-essential’ activity in parts of the economy,” he said in a morning note.

State and territory leaders and Prime Minister Scott Morrison have recommended against all non-essential domestic travel, following the unprecedented ban on international travel.

A multibillion-dollar package of support for business and households impacted by the coronavirus pandemic will be on the agenda for federal parliament on Monday.

The Morrison government will work with Labor to ensure laws to put cash in Australians’ pockets and prop up businesses pass within days.

Bills will roll out two massive economic stimulus and safety net packages worth $17.6 billion and $66 billion respectively to stem the damage from a likely recession as a result of COVID-19.

The share market ended last week, its worst week since October 2008, with a modest daily gain.

The S&P/ASX200 ended up 0.7 per cent at 4,816.6, while the All Ordinaries index gained 0.93 per cent to 4,854.3.

One Australian dollar was buying 58.06 US cents at 0800 AEDT on Monday, down from 58.82 on Friday as the share market closed.

One Australian dollar buys 64.245 Japanese yen from 63.70; 54.23 euro cents from 53.24; 49.67 British pence from 53.86; 102.13 NZ cents from 101.01.

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