Australia markets closed

ASX set to rise; NSW RFS boss gets a new job

NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons speaking at the NSW Rural Fire Service Headquarters, Sydney Olympic Park on January 27, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jenny Evans/Getty Images)

Good morning.

Here’s Yahoo Finance’s Friday morning wrap.

ASX: The Australian share market is tipped to rise but economists remain wary of the coronavirus volatility that ensured global equities ended the week on a sour note.

The SPI200 futures contract was up 46 points, or 0.91 per cent, at 5,079.0 points at 0700 AEDT on Monday, suggesting local stocks will gain at the open of markets.

Wall Street's main indexes fell more than 1.5 per cent on Friday after US employment showed a worse-than-expected drop in jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

CommSec chief economist Craig James at the weekend said the US market, and the expected raft of news about COVID-19 on Monday, would continue influence Australian shares.

AUD: One Australian dollar was buying 60.15 US cents on Monday, down from 60.63 US cents at the close of market on Friday.

NSW’s Rural Fire Services chief Shane Fitzsimmons led the state’s response to the bushfire crisis, and now he’s expected to head a new agency to help the state recover from recent challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic. It means he’ll step down from his role at the RFS.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian will announce the establishment of Resilience NSW this morning. The agency will be devoted to "world-leading disaster preparedness and recovery", after the state endured a summer of drought, bushfires, flooding and now a COVID-19 outbreak.

A criminal investigation, led by the NSW police homicide squad, will be launched into the Ruby Princess and how passengers with Covid-19 were allowed to disembark the cruise ship. More than one in ten coronavirus-related deaths are said to be linked to the disembarking of the passengers.

"The only way I can get to the bottom of whether our national biosecurity laws and our state laws were broken is through a criminal investigation," NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said on Sunday.

Want to protect your money against Covid-19? Here are seven easy-to-follow tips by a top financial expert.

Stand-alone hospital wards and drive-through testing centres could be built in 72 hours to help Australia deal with any rise in coronavirus cases. That’s what architecture professor Robert Barnstone from the University of Sydney reckons, and not-for-profit company, P&G Paper Tubes, says its factory has the capacity to build one hospital room per minute from recycled materials and deliver anywhere in the country.

Would you go back to your old job? That’s what Ireland’s PM is doing (sort of): he’s re-registered as a medical practitioner and will work one shift a week to help with the crisis.

Practice what you preach: That’s what Scotland’s chief medical officer isn’t doing. Police issued a warning to Catherine Calderwood after she broke her own advice on social distancing when she visited her second home this weekend and last, and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Calderwood would no longer be the public face of the country’s campaign to tackle the virus.

–with AAP

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