ASX carries on despite COVID-19 infection

The Australia stock exchange has advised all but "core" employees to work at home, says trading will continue normally

finance investment coins currency money stocks growth by foryou13 getty
ForYou13 / Getty

Amid fears that the novel coronavirus could disrupt major stock exchanges around the world if employees become infected, the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) will continue to operate, even after receiving confirmation on Saturday that a Sydney-based employee had tested positive to COVID-19. ASX advised all staff to work remotely except for a “core group” of IT, operations and surveillance employees.

The remote working requirement applies to staff at ASX offices in Bridge Street and the Australian Liquidity Centre (ALC) in Sydney, as well as a secondary data centre, and interstate and overseas offices. 

“The only exceptions are a core group of employees, identified as part of our BCP [business continuity plan], who will remain on ASX sites to manage ongoing market functions, mainly in technology, operations and surveillance areas. ASX is executing arrangements for which we have prepared,” the ASX said in a statement. “Our employees have the capacity to work remotely, which is a normal and regular part of ASX’s BCP and testing activity. Many already work flexibly and/or remotely from our various sites.”

While many companies are supporting remote working arrangements in response to the coronavirus, there have been concerns that major exchanges could be disrupted if floor traders become infected. But the New York Stock Exchange’s (NYSE) president Stacey Cunningham on Friday said the NYSE could trade “fully electronically” if there was an outbreak that forced trading floor workers to self-isolate, according to a CNBC report.

The ASX said that about 20 ASX employees who were in close contact with the affected person were self-isolating and working from home for the next two weeks. The affected employee was based at ASX’s Bridge Street office, which remains open for skeleton staff. 

Meanwhile, Australia’s two major retailers Woolworths and Coles this suspended online delivery services after a week of in-store panic buying by consumers. “Due to significant item shortages our pick-up service is unavailable until further notice. If you place a delivery order you will have a high level of out-of-stocks, especially if they are pantry or cleaning items.,” Woolworths said in an update.  

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon