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ASX to rise as COVID origin debate reignited

·2-min read
Empty bottles of the COVID-19 vaccine, stock price wall in the ASX and US President Joe Biden speaking
US President Joe Biden has ordered another inquest into the origins of COVID-19 (Source: Getty)

Good morning

ASX: The local market is expected to edge up at the open after the US market posted gains overnight.

Wall St: US stocks have advanced slightly after positive labour market figures helped bolster expectations in the economic recovery.

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.

Fourth time’s the charm: Vioctorians have been plunged into another snap lockdown as the government attempts to contain an outbreak of the Indian variant of the virus.

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.

Rewards system: Qantas said it is considering a plan to reward customers who have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine with incentives like frequent flyer points or flight vouchers to help boost vaccination rates in Australia.

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.

‘Man-made’: Facebook will no longer ban posts that claim COVID-19 is ‘man-made’ after the debate as to the virus’ origins reopens.

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.

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