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Australia’s second-most populous state has tightened coronavirus controls as a spike in cases triggers fears the nation could be hit by a second wave of infections.
Victoria extended a state of emergency by four weeks to July 20, halved the number of visitors allowed in homes to 5 and delayed a planned increase in the size of gatherings in cafes, restaurants and pubs.
The weekend announcement, and a jump in cases in countries including the U.S., Israel and South Korea, heightened market concerns about the difficulty of reviving economic growth while controlling the spread of Covid-19. The Australian dollar declined against most of its Group-of-10 peers on Monday, falling as much as 0.4%.
Australia has managed to limit the total number of coronavirus cases to 7,460 by closing international and state borders, quarantining returning residents, social distancing measures and a widespread testing and tracing regime. But concerns are growing about community transmission in Victoria, responsible for 116 new cases in the past week — 83% of the national total. Of those, 87 were largely associated with community transmission.
32,540 in U.S.Most new cases today
-8% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23
-1.037 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23
-2.3% Global GDP Tracker (annualized), May