S&P/ASX 200 falls 0.82% as Australia's unemployment rate recovers to 6.8% in August

Oil prices jumped more than 4% to $42.22 a barrel on Wednesday as Hurricane Sally forced multiple US offshore production units to shut.

Fortescue Metals Group - S&P/ASX 200 falls 0.82% as Australia's unemployment rate recovers to 6.8% in August
Gold prices gained 0.1% after the Federal Reserve pledged to keep rates low until at least 2023

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) dived 0.82% to 5907 even as Australia's unemployment rate dropped to 6.8% in August, an improvement from the previous month.

This was a positive surprise as most experts were predicting a rise from the 7.5% unemployment rate in July due to stricter measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 weighing on businesses, particularly in Victoria.

Iron ore price drops

The ASX fell at open today after Wall Street pulled back overnight as the US Fed vowed to keep interest rates near zero until at least 2023 to help core inflation reach 2% on a sustained basis.

Iron ore prices took a hit overnight, dropping 3.4% to $US124.20 a tonne.

Heavyweight miner Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) dropped by a staggering 4.61%, Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RI) shed 2.67% and BHP Group Ltd (ASX:BHP) fell 0.79%.

COVID-19 update

New COVID-19 infections appear to be dropping in Victoria with just 28 new cases picked up in the last 24 hours, but unfortunately, there have been a further eight deaths added to the state’s tally.

Five new cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in New South Wales, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 4001.

India’s total COVID-19 cases passed a grim milestone of 5 million on Wednesday, with its latest million cases recorded in just 11 days. Only the US has more number of cases, with 6.59 million.

Top gainers

Today’s top gainers on the ASX include Opyl Ltd (ASX:OPL) (+8.57%), Australian Strategic Materials (ASX:ASM) (+8.13%), Lake Resources N.L. (ASX:LKE) (+14.58%), Element 25 Ltd (ASX:E25) (+8.73%), Artemis Resources Ltd (ASX:ARV) (+11.69%), Piedmont Lithium Ltd (ASX:PLL) (+10.00%) and Cauldron Energy Ltd(ASX:CXU) (+10.00%).

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