The Covid situation took a turn for the worse, as spiralling infections saw new lockdowns introduced in Australia. The government has suggested all restrictions can be lifted once 70% of the adult population has been fully vaccinated. Until then, the outlook for economic activity levels has deteriorated.
Global stock markets have had a volatile start to 2016, with most markets recording losses over the first weeks of the year. Falls in global stock markets were prompted at the start of this year with some weaker manufacturing data in China and the US, and political tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran.