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What zero COVID-19 cases in Victoria means for ASX 200 shares

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Victoria has this morning announced zero new daily coronavirus cases for the first time since June. Here’s what that could mean for ASX 200 shares and the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) as we kick off the trading week.

What did Victoria announce?

Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) confirmed no new COVID-19 cases were recorded in the past 24 hours. This comes after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews put a “pause” on the easing of restrictions despite the 14-day daily moving average falling below the 5 cases milestone set for Melbourne.

Premier Andrews paused a planned easing of restrictions to investigate two clusters in northern Melbourne. That means investors will be eagerly anticipating today’s press conference following this morning’s case numbers.

That could be good news for ASX 200 shares given Victoria’s ongoing restrictions have weighed on some top stocks.

What does that mean for ASX 200 shares?

Easing restrictions is good news for the Victorian and Australian economies. Victoria has ~25 per cent of Australia’s population and is a major cog in the Australian economy across a variety of industries.

Australia’s 2019 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) totalled $1.89 trillion, while Victoria contributed $454.59 million of that or 24% of the country’s total economic output.

That means easing restrictions should be good news for ASX 200 shares this morning, particularly in hard-hit industries. That includes retail, hospitality and leisure which continue to advocate for eased restrictions across the state.

ASX futures are pointing up 0.3% to 6,179 points which could mean a strong start to the session. That would be welcome news for investors after the benchmark Aussie index edged lower last week.

Foolish takeaway

All eyes will be on some of the biggest ASX 200 shares on the market in early trade in anticipation of eased restrictions.. Big retailers like Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) have been pushing hard for eased restrictions and could be worth watching today.

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Motley Fool contributor Ken Hall has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Wesfarmers Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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