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MARKET: Eyes on rising COVID cases in key markets

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The market may get a lift after Wall Street ended the week on a positive note but new cases of COVID-19 in China as well as rising cases in key US states may dampen some enthusiasm.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.9 percent, the Nasdaq added one per cent and the S&P 500 added 1.3 per cent on Friday, largely on bargain hunting.

However, as of June 13, 41 symptomatic laboratory confirmed cases and 46 laboratory confirmed cases without symptoms of COVID-19 have been identified in Beijing, says the World Health Organisation.

Until now, the city has gone for 50 days without a case.

According to the Financial Times, authorities closed the Xinfadi market, a sprawling complex that provides most of Beijing’s fresh seafood, fruit and vegetables.

Several residential compounds on the west side of the city have been locked down and more than 100 people have been put in quarantine.

Meanwhile, new coronavirus cases and hospitalisations in record numbers swept through more US states, including Florida and Texas, as most push ahead with reopening, Reuters reports.

Nationally, there were more than 25,000 new cases reported on Saturday, the highest tally for a Saturday since May 2, in part due to a significant increase in testing during the past six weeks.

Importantly, many of these states are also seeing record hospitalisations - a metric not affected by increased testing.

In Australia, New South Wales and Victoria are also easing coronavirus restrictions.

In NSW, as of July 1, indoor venues will have no restrictions on the number of people allowed as long as the “one person per 4 square-metre rule” is upheld, premier Gladys Berejiklian says in a statement.

Cultural and sporting events at outdoor venues with a maximum capacity of 40,000 will be allowed up to 25 per cent of their normal capacity.

The state, however, confirmed nine new cases of the virus on Sunday, including one case of community transmission.

In Victoria, from midnight on June 21, libraries, community centres and halls will be able to open to 50 people.

Religious ceremonies can also increase to 50. Pubs and clubs will be able to host up to 50 seated patrons, with no requirement to purchase a meal with a drink.

On Sunday, Victoria also confirmed nine new cases in the past 24 hours.  

The New Zealand dollar was trading at 64.21 US cents at 8am in Wellington versus 64.18 cents at 5pm on Friday.

“The overall liquidity environment remains supportive of risk currencies, and New Zealand’s unique success in stamping out COVID-19 puts it in good stead,” says ANZ chief economist Sharon Zollner.  

“There are significant risks during this recovery and transition phase as the market weighs up the positives against the negative long-term real economic damage that has been done, which paints a more neutral picture."

Today, investors will be watching for housing data for May, which should show a sharp catch-up in activity, followed by the performance of services index, also likely to rebound, food prices and finally net migration for April, she says.

-Originally published by BusinessDesk.

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