Australian markets are expected to open flat on Monday as traders prepare for their first look at hard data on the impacts of coronavirus on the economy.
The Dow Jones and S&P 500 gained more than 2.5 per cent on Saturday (Australian time) in response to hopes around a COVID-19 treatment and news US President Donald Trump was looking to reopen the world’s largest economy.
But with the same news having already spurred a rally on the local bourse on Friday, the ASX 200 futures closed up just 0.02 per cent.
“I suspect we’ll probably be a little flat,” AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver told AAP on Sunday.
“Risks are probably a little on the upside unless there is bad news over the rest of the weekend.”
A large swatch of telling data will be released across the week and should shed some light on whether the sharemarket has discounted the economic impact appropriately.
The ASX S&P200 shed 38 per cent from late February to dip to as low as 4402.5 points on March 23 but has since rebounded to close at 5,487.50 on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar closed Friday at 63.61 US cents.
Results of a new Australian Bureau of Statistics survey on the household impacts of COVID-19 will be released on Monday while weekly payroll and wages data on Tuesday will give some guidance on how employment and wages are tracking.
“Most of the data we have got so far hasn’t given us much guidance,” Dr Oliver said.
“This week will give us more hard data. We did get employment data last week but that was based on a survey from the first weeks of March.”
The ABS will also bring forward the release of March retail figures when it publishes preliminary numbers on Wednesday.
Those retail figures could be “fairly messy” given supermarkets and home improvement stores have boomed while clothing, restaurants and other retailers have collapsed.
“You’ve got to bear in mind the shutdown really got underway in the second half of March,” Dr Oliver said.
“These figures won’t fully impact the shutdown but I suspect we’ll see quite a sharp fall in retail figures for March and they could be off three per cent or more.
“The trouble is there’s still a long way to go.”
Globally, US home sales data and the PMI on business conditions in Europe, the US, Australia and Japan will be released later in the week.
Netflix, Coca-Cola, Boeing and Amazon are all due to report earnings.