Shares are poised for a flat start to trade on the Australian market after rising coronavirus cases in some US states and Beijing hindered movement on US markets.

The Australian SPI 200 futures contract was lower by 5.0 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 5,922.0 at 0705 AEST on Friday.

In the US overnight, all three major US stock indexes oscillated through much of the day but the S&P ended the session in the black along with the tech-heavy Nasdaq. The blue-chip Dow lost ground. While several US states have reported surges in new COVID-19 cases after re-opening their economies, President Donald Trump insisted the United States would not enact a new round of restrictions to curb the pandemic’s spread. Gold prices eased a bit after a Chinese medical expert said Beijing has brought a recent outbreak under control. China has found the trading sections for meat and seafood in Beijing’s wholesale food market to be severely contaminated with the coronavirus. The country’s capital has tackled a resurgence of COVID-19 cases over the past week linked to the massive Xinfadi food center, which houses warehouses and trading halls in an area the size of nearly 160 soccer pitches. Senior market strategist for Allianz Investment Management in Minneapolis, Charlie Ripley, said: “investors are in wait-and-see mode”. “The consensus is we’re on the road to the recovery but there could be bumps along the way and these increasing virus numbers could be one of those bumps.”

The Australian dollar was buying 68.52 US cents at 0705 AEST, lower from 68.72 US cents at the close of trade on Thursday.

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