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Morrison To Offer Stimulus No. 2 In Bit To Avoid Rout

CANBERRA: As financial markets suffered another day of panic selling yesterday, the Australian Government flagged a potential second round of stimulus, only a week after signing off on a $17 billion package.

PM Scott Morrison is expected to make more dramatic announcements today.

The Morrison Government has already predicted a second round of stimulus that would target sectors bearing the brunt of the economic shock triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, including airlines, tourism, events, sport and the arts, as the PM ramps up efforts to stave off a crippling downturn.

Falling in line with the global financial rout, the ASX yesterday tumbled again, losing $105 billion on mounting recession fears. The AU dollar hovered around US$0.60, its lowest level since 2003. 

The ASX finished 9.7 percent lower at the close, falling back below 5000 points to finish the session at 4953.

The Australian Government has unveiled its toughest measures to rein in the coronavirus, warning Australians not to travel overseas, and has placed a ban on indoor gatherings of more than 100 people.

And with the Reserve Bank signalling another potential emergency rate cut today, the Government has flagged a second round of pump priming.

Precise timing for unveiling round two of the stimulus package is unclear, but government sources quoted by The Guardian say options are being worked up urgently, and the package will be announced well ahead of the May budget, which was the plan last week.

Morrison yesterday called on Australians to “stop hoarding” as he announced sweeping new measures to try to slow the spread of coronavirus, including a ban on indoor gatherings of more than 100 people, a global do-not-travel order, and strict new rules for visiting aged care homes. – Kate Castellari and news services

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