ASX: The local market is expected to edge up at the open after the US market posted gains overnight.
The number of people in the US filing new unemployment claims dropped more than expected last week to a 14-month low of 406,000 as pandemic restrictions continue to be lifted.
This is the fourth time Victorians have been through a state-wide shutdown, which is expected to last for seven days.
Buying frenzy: Coles has introduced product limits in stores across Australia to stop panic buying after the state was placed into lockdown to stop the spread of COVID.
Minor panic buying broke out in Melbourne and surrounding regions on Thursday. Pictures posted on social media show shelves stripped bare at Woolworths and Coles stores in the city.
Qantas said it will require all passengers to be vaccinated when it restarts international flights beyond New Zealand. The policy has been criticised by the World Travel and Tourism Council as discriminatory.
US President Joe Biden has requested another report into how the virus began after the first inquiry was heavily criticised. US intelligence agencies are pursuing rival theories potentially including the possibility of a laboratory accident in China.