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On Tuesday, New Zealand (NZ) confirmed 13 new coronavirus cases despite the lockdown in Auckland since August 12.

NZ Prime Minister (PM) Jacinda Ardern delayed the general election by four weeks until Oct. 17 as the nation’s first community outbreak of COVID-19 in more than three months worsens. 

Meanwhile, in Australia, the no. 2 most populous state of Victoria reported 222 new cases, with the infection spread slowing after over a month of the regional lockdown.

Despite the downtrend in the new infections, Victoria has had more than 2100 cases in the outbreak since May 26. All but 103 of the cases can be genomically sequenced linked back to an outbreak associated with the Rydges Hotel. 

Market reaction

The NZD/USD pair is under pressure, now testing lows at 0.6540, losing 0.23% on the day. Meanwhile, AUD/USD retreats from weekly highs of 0.7229 to now trade at 0.7218, up 0.07% on the day.

Renewed China-Australian tensions and the continued rise in the virus cases weigh on the market mood.