ASX sags as investors await new virus data

The Australian share market has taken a dive in early trade ahead of data that will show how coronavirus is affecting households.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was down 46.3 points, or 0.84 per cent, to 5,441.2 points in the first 15 minutes of trade on Monday, with energy, industrials and utilities the heaviest weights at the open. 

The All Ordinaries index was down 43.9 points, or 0.79 per cent, to 5.500.8 points.

The opening plunge comes before the results of a new Australian Bureau of Statistics survey on the household impacts of COVID-19.

Data in coming weeks is expected to show an increasing economic toll due to lockdown measures designed to halt the spread of the virus. 

Weekly payroll and wages data will follow on Tuesday and the ABS will also bring forward the release of March retail figures when it publishes preliminary numbers on Wednesday.

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