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Coronavirus to be over by April?: Yahoo Finance Wednesday morning wrap

BEIJING, CHINA - FEBRUARY 11: A Chinese worker wears a protective suit and mask as he helps a customer to his car with his groceries at a supermarket on February 11, 2020 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Good morning.

Here’s what you need to know in finance and beyond to kick off your day:

ASX: A flat open is tipped for Australian shares even though major US and European markets surged to fresh records overnight amid renewed coronavirus hopes.

The SPI200 futures contract was unchanged at 6990.0 points at 0705 AEDT on Wednesday despite a another strong performance from US stocks overnight.

Wall St: The Dow industrials, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all set new records and European stocks jumped higher after China's senior medical adviser suggested the deadly coronavirus may be over by April.

Oil prices also lifted on the outlook.

Meanwhile, local profit reporting season continues on Wednesday with market heavyweights Commonwealth Bank and CSL set to release their results.

AUD: The Aussie dollar is buying 67.13 US cents from 67.16 US cents at Tuesday's close.

Taxpayer money should be used for government-related and parliamentary activities only, right? Nah: Nationals leader Michael McCormack's office backed MPs billing taxpayers for flights and accommodation to a party celebration at a five-star Melbourne hotel. More here.

You can pay with your smartphone, your smartwatch and even with special smart rings. But within five years, 60% of Australians will use body parts to make payments. Scary? Read up about it here.

Everyone wants to know what these 7 things cost. They’re the most-searched items that come up when you Google ‘how much does a...”. We answer how much these items cost.

Valentine’s Day is coming up. To commemorate the lovey-dovey day, Aldi is selling a dozen red roses for just $19.99 – but shoppers have questioned the low price and flowers’ freshness, considering that the sale starts the day before Valentine’s Day.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has released the latest Closing the Gap report. The campaign aims to raise the quality of life for Indigenous Australians, such as increasing rates of school attendance and life expectancy. Here’s a run-down on what the latest report card on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wellbeing has found.

What was that about the coronavirus being over by April? The Chinese senior medical adviser won fame for his role in combating an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in 2003. Read more about him, and what he said about coronavirus, here.

Oh, and by the way: the ‘Wuhan coronavirus’ has a proper name now. It’s Covid-19. The word ‘coronavirus’ actually refers to “any of a group of RNA viruses that cause a variety of diseases in humans and other animals”.

Under the guidelines of the WHO, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the name for the new virus could not refer to specific geographical locations, animals or people.

"Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatising," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference in Geneva.

–with AAP

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