Australian share market volatile in early trade after increase in coronavirus cases

The ASX recorded a record daily fall of 9.7 per cent on Monday.

The ASX recorded a record daily fall of 9.7 per cent on Monday. Photo: Getty

After a volatile start, the Australian share market has regained its momentum despite the continuing increase in coronavirus cases.

By 1.30pm AEDT, the ASX 200 index had jumped 2.1 per cent to 4946 points, after briefly falling into negative territory.

The Australian dollar has lifted to 61.75 US cents.

More than 660,000 people have been infected by the novel coronavirus across the world, and more than 30,000 have died.

Australia now has more than 4000 cases of COVID-19.

Despite the worsening health crisis, global stock markets rebounded last week after governments and central banks pumped trillions of dollars worth of stimulus into their economies to cushion the blow of the coronavirus pandemic.

“If you’ve spent any time ocean fishing, you’re probably aware of the term ‘sucker hole’,” AxiCorp’s chief market strategist Stephen Innes said.

“[It is] a colloquial term referring to a short spate of good weather that “suckers” sailors into leaving port just in time for a storm to resume at full force.

“Well, that’s what last week’s market felt like as now we are about to enter a vortex of bad earnings, bad economic data, and bankruptcies.

“Indeed, last week’s animal spirits will be severely tested.”

Healthcare stocks in demand

The best performing sectors are healthcare and consumer staples, driven by Mayne Pharma Group (+11.6pc), Cocchlear (+6.4pc) and Ramsay Health Care (+5.2pc).

Ansell shares, in particular, surged by 16.9 per cent after the medical glove maker reaffirmed its full-year earnings forecast at a time when most companies were retracting their rosy expectations about future profits.

In addition, the company said it was experiencing “very strong demand” for its surgical gloves as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

The major banks have also rebounded, after their share prices were battered in recent weeks.

NAB, ANZ, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank have risen between 3 and 5 per cent.

Supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles have risen by 3.6 and 3 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, mining and energy stocks were sold off amid worries about a prolonged global economic slowdown.

Big names in those sectors have tumbled, including Santos (-4.4pc), Rio Tinto (-1.3pc) and BHP (-0.8pc).


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