The Australian share market is expected to open only slightly higher on Monday despite a surge on Friday and a rally on Wall Street.
Futures rose just three points, or 0.1 of a per cent, following last week’s close.
AAP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver said it was for that reason the market would largely remain flat at the opening of trade.
“There will be a lot of focus here on the ease of shutdowns, so that may have an influence,” he told AAP.
The spotlight this week will predominantly be on the retail sector, following strong gains last week after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a staged easing of coronavirus restrictions.
Myer soared 45 per cent, while Harvey Norman jumped 6.7 per cent and JB Hi-Fi climbed 3.7 per cent.
National Australia Bank will on Tuesday release the results of its business confidence survey for April, following a record low in March.
Consumer confidence for May will also be released by Westpac later in the week.
After a fall of 17.7 per cent in April, Dr Oliver said he expected a small increase this month.
“There has been a bit of a return to confidence from very, very low levels,” he said, adding while it was good news for retailers, large numbers returning to shops could pose issues for social distancing.
“I think both surveys will show some improvement but they’re still going to be pretty weak,” he said.
Australia’s market could also be impacted by the release of the monthly labour force figures on Thursday.
“Those numbers are going to be bad,” he said.
“We’ll probably see a loss of about 750,000 jobs.”
But Dr Oliver said while they would be watched closely, the market shouldn’t be too impacted by the figures, unless they fell or rose beyond expectations.
“They’ve been talked about for a long time now so it should already be factored into the share market thinking,” he said.
Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished Friday up 26.9 points, or 0.5 per cent higher, at 5,391.1 points, while the All Ordinaries index closed up 38.1 points, or 0.7 per cent, at 5,488.
The market finished last week up 145.2 points, or 2.77 per cent, while one Australian dollar is buying 65.23 US cents and 52.68 British pence.