S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) is higher by 2 points or 0.04% to 6035 at 2.25 pm after giving back most of its improvements from earlier in the day when it was up 70 points or 1.1%.
However, the benchmark index is on track for its best weekly improvement in a month with a gain of +2% helped by advances across the majority of sectors.
Health stocks are showing their strength today, up 1.7%, while telcos have risen 1.7% and consumer staples gained 0.8%.
Cochlear (ASX:COH) surged 6% after receiving US FDA approval for four new products to add to its hearing technology solutions.
Retail and vehicle sales bounce back
Final Australian Bureau of Statistics figures confirmed increased in retail sales by a record 16.9% in May as lockdown restrictions eased.
This is a significant bounce back from a seasonally adjusted fall of 17.7% in April.
In June, 110,234 new vehicles were sold, down 6.4% on June 2019. While down on a year ago, the result is the strongest since the COVID-19 crisis began.
New US COVID-19 cases rose by over 50,000 yesterday, setting a record for a third consecutive day, with new infections rising in 37 out of 50 US states in the past 14 days compared with the two weeks prior in early June.
Florida reported the highest increase of any state so far on Thursday, recording over 10,000 new cases in a single day.
Back home, there are 66 new COVID-19 cases in Victoria today, including 28 from an unknown source.
Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said there may be a “super spreader” responsible for a surge in cases in northern and western Melbourne.
Today’s top gainers on the ASX include Mako Gold Ltd (ASX:MKG) (+26.09%), Nelson Resources Ltd (ASX:NES) (+21.28%), Whitebark Energy Ltd (ASX:WBE) (+33.33%), Nexus Minerals Ltd (ASX:NXM) (+11.67%), Latin Resources Ltd (ASX:LRS) (+16.67%), Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) (+12.24%) and Great Boulder Resources Ltd (ASX:GBR) (+57.14%).
Proactive news headlines
Whitebark Energy boosts interest in Wizard Lake Oilfield to 85%
Whitebark Energy Ltd (ASX:WBE) has lifted its overall interest in the Wizard Lake Oilfield to 85% after completing the lease renewal for mineral rights in three sections of land totalling 713 hectares. This follows the expiry of a Right of First Refusal (ROFR) for the company’s JV partner to participate in the renewal.
Lake Resources demonstrates production of ‘clean’ lithium chloride at a larger scale
Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE) (OTCMKTS:LLKKF) has demonstrated the production of lithium chloride at a larger scale from the newly upgraded facility of technology partner Lilac Solutions in California. The samples produced from Lake’s Kachi Lithium Brine Project in Argentina have shown high lithium concentrations from Lilac’s direct lithium extraction pilot plant module as previously demonstrated at lab scale.
Bryah Resources has drill spinning as it targets gold in Bryah Basin
Bryah Resources Ltd (ASX:BYH) has the reverse circulation (RC) drill spinning in the Bryah Basin of WA targeting the high-priority Windalah gold prospect and an electromagnetic (EM) conductor near the historic Peak Hill Gold Mine. With the company aiming to take further advantage of strong gold market fundamentals, it has initially planned 2,000 metres of RC drilling in this campaign.
SUDA Pharmaceuticals raising $3.56 million to further develop oro-mucosal drug delivery assets
SUDA Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX:SUD) has launched an entitlement offer to raise approximately $3.56 million with funds intended for development of the company’s anagrelide and the remaining OroMist assets. The 1 for 1 non-renounceable entitlement offer is for fully paid ordinary shares at 2.5 cents per share, which represents a 37.5% discount to the last traded price and a discount of 34.3% to the 15 trading day VWAP.