Home Virus safety Australia politics live: Victoria premier Daniel Andrews announces Covid restrictions to ease | Australia news

Australia politics live: Victoria premier Daniel Andrews announces Covid restrictions to ease | Australia news

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Australia’s share market is having its heaviest percentage fall since September after steep losses on Wall Street, reports AAP:

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was lower by 143.5 points, or 2.09%, to 6,690.5 at 1200 AEDT on Friday.

The All Ordinaries was lower by 152.1 points, or 2.14%, at 6,953.6.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar climbed above 80 US cents late on Thursday night.

Analysts have cited rising yields for the Aussie 10-year bond as a reason. The Aussie dollar is needed to buy the bonds.

Meanwhile, the two most populated Australian states, NSW and Victoria, have relaxed coronavirus restrictions further as they remained free of infections.

More people are allowed at cinemas and gyms in NSW, while Victoria has allowed larger gatherings, particularly outdoors.

On the ASX, Afterpay plunged 10.91% to $119.70 amid the technology fire sale.

AMP said US investment group Ares will buy most of its private markets business.

The two companies will form a joint venture for the business, which includes infrastructure equity and debt as well as real estate.

Ares will buy 60% of the joint venture for $1.35 billion.

AMP shares were higher by 3.94% to $1.45.

Harvey Norman continues to enjoy soaring sales through the pandemic after posting a 116 per cent rise in first-half earnings.

The furniture, electrical and whitegoods retailer on Friday reported first-half sales climbed 25 per cent and contributed to a net profit after tax of $462.03 million.

Big miners BHP, Fortescue, Rio Tinto and BlueScope Steel all lost more than 1%.

In banking, the big four as well as Bank of Queensland and Macquarie all lost more than 1%.

The dollar was buying 78.46 US cents at 1200 AEDT, lower from 79.71 US cents at Thursday’s close.

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