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Due to lockdowns in Melbourne, the Australian stock market is declining as banks extend repayment holidays

Banks are giving borrowers more time to repay loans, as Melbourne’s renewed lockdown causes stock prices to fall

  • The new lockdowns in Melbourne have caused the Australian stock market to lose gains
  • Australian banks have also extended repayment holidays beyond September

The new lockdowns in Melbourne have caused the stock market to slump, fearing that a new outbreak of the corona virus will slow the recovery of Australia’s economy.

The Australian Securities Exchange was on track to finish in a stronger position on Tuesday until the last trading hour, when Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews announced more than five million residents in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire would be closed in the north for six weeks.

The benchmark S & P / ASX200 went from very late in the afternoon to 0.7 firmer towards the end of the day with 0.03 percent weaker.

New South Wales has closed its border with Victoria for the first time since the Spanish flu in 1919 from Wednesday.

The new lockdowns in Melbourne have caused the stock market to slump, fearing that a new outbreak of the corona virus will slow the recovery of Australia's economy. Pictured are the Albury police on the New South Wales / Victoria border, ensuring that Victorians do not cross the Murray River

The new lockdowns in Melbourne have caused the stock market to slump, fearing that a new outbreak of the corona virus will slow the recovery of Australia’s economy. Pictured are the Albury police on the New South Wales / Victoria border, ensuring that Victorians do not cross the Murray River

The four major banks also announced on Tuesday that the six-month repayment holidays for borrowers ending in September would be extended by four months.

Anna Bligh, general manager of the Australian Banking Association, said that in real need, borrowers should ask their bank for an extension rather than assume it would be automatic.

“This next phase of bank support will avoid a ‘cliff’ for customers in September and give them the breathing room they need to work with their bank and get back on their feet,” she said.

“The Australian banks supported their customers when the country entered the COVID-19 crisis and they are determined to support their customers in the crisis.”

National Australia Bank chief executive, Ross McEwan, said home and corporate borrowers could extend the interruption of their repayments until March 31, 2021.

“While a significant portion of the businesses and homeowners we spoke to have started their refunds again, clearly there are still many customers who may need a little longer support,” he said.

“Bankers will talk to clients about their individual circumstances and the options that are right for them, such as loan restructuring, determining alternative funding sources, helping with hardship or further deferral for up to four months.”

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