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Australian share market sinks to 8-year low as small business shuts its doors

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The ASX200 is back to where it was in 2012 after another bloodbath in Sydney.

The Australian share market has dived to an eight-year low as new Federal Government restrictions effectively shut down small businesses across the nation.

At the close of trade the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 finished down 5.6 per cent or 270 points.

Australia's share market is now at its lowest level since December 2012, having wiped more than 36 per cent since an all-time high in February.

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The Aussie dollar, which has been plunging as investors move to safe haven currencies, is currently buying 57.55 US cents, down from 58.82 on Friday.

A raft of businesses today cut their financial outlooks after they learnt they would not be allowed to keep the doors open.

Property developer Stockland, betting giant TabCorp, and health insurance firm NIB are among the latest to mothball earnings guidance while Ardent Leisure and Village Roadshow have shut their Gold Coast theme parks as coronavirus bans escalate.

Retailer JB Hi-Fi has also withdrawn guidance but reported a surge in sales since the turn of the new year as customers rush to secure technology and products that will allow them to work from home

Superannuation provider Link Group on Monday withdrew its outlook while TabCorp said its wagering and media, Keno and pokie segments will likely be affected after the federal government ordered operators of venues where people gather, such as pubs, cinemas, gyms and restaurants to close on Monday.

TabCorp said convenience stores and other such outlets, which distribute the company's lottery products, are not covered by the measures and will remain open.

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It is expected that newsagencies, which also distribute TabCorp's Lottery products, will remain open but this is not yet confirmed.

Village Roadshow and Event Hospitality and Entertainment, which run cinemas across Australia, complied with the government order.

They have temporarily closed cinemas and stood down staff.

Village also closed its Gold Coast theme parks, which include Movie World and Sea World, until further notice.

Ardent has temporarily closed its Dreamworld and Whitewater World theme parks but some staff will continue working to feed animals and maintain equipment.

Retail Food Group, which runs Gloria Jeans cafes, Donut King, Crust pizza outlets and more, put a stop to the trading of its shares.

It has also been affected by the orders requiring social venues to close.

Businesses such as these may choose to offer take-away only.

- With reporting from AAP

Source: 9News

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