Volatility continues for Australian market
Australian shares are expected to shed some value when the market opens for the week, but what happens beyond that initial dip is "anyone's guess".
Volatility which has rocked the Australian market amid the global coronavirus pandemic is expected to continue in the coming days.
The futures market suggests the benchmark S&P/ASX200 will fall by 87 points, or 1.8 per cent, when trade resumes on Monday.
That comes after Wall Street wrapped up its worst week since October 2008 lower on Friday, with the Dow and S&P 500 sliding more than 4 per cent for the day.
CommSec chief economist Craig James has stressed the futures only give a sense of investor sentiments as recently as Saturday morning.
With the COVID-19 situation evolving so rapidly, they are unlikely to dictate what unfolds beyond the start of local trade.
"What happens from there, unfortunately, you'd have to say, is anyone's guess, because there is so much volatility in the markets," Mr James told AAP.
"There's no signs of that volatility ending any time soon. The ride continues and the battle continues against COVID-19."
The Australian share market finished its own worst week since October 2008 with a modest daily gain on Friday.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 finished Friday up 33.7 points, or 0.7 per cent, at 4,816.6, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 44.9 points, or 0.93 per cent, to 4,854.3.
Mr James said investors will take cues from economic and financial developments this week, particularly stimulus measures announced by Australian and international governments.
They'll also be keenly tracking the medical situation.
"If we do get some peaking in cases, if we get some sort of signs of improvement, clearly that's going to be embraced very, very much by financial markets," he said.
Investors will further be looking for up-to-date readings on the economy.
Purchasing manager surveys set to be released worldwide this week, including in Australia, will give an early update on how the manufacturing and service sectors have been faring in March.
A silver lining for Australian consumers from the recent volatility is that oil prices have slid significantly, with increasing examples of service stations charging less than a dollar for a litre of petrol.
One Australian dollar was buying 58.82 US cents at the end of trade on Friday, an improvement from about 55 US cents earlier in the week.
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