S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) erased some of its earlier losses but is still down 0.087% at 12.38 pm as investors remained cautious due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases around the world.
The IT sector is continuing its strong performance, up 1.7%, and healthcare is also having a good day, up 0.45%.
Iron ore shipments from Port Hedland, the world’s largest bulk export terminal, increased 5.8% over the 12 months to June 2020, and 8.4% for the month, to a record 51.8 million tonnes.
The record level of shipments shows that China’s demand for iron ore is strong and also the ability of Australian producers to pump additional volumes.
Oil price drops
Concerns about renewed COVID-19 lockdowns in the US outweighed signs of a recovery in US gasoline demand, keeping a lid on oil prices.
Brent crude futures were down 90 cents, or 2%, at US$42.39 per barrel yesterday, after gaining 0.5% on Wednesday.
Victoria’s two largest COVID-19 outbreaks have now been linked, forming one huge cluster that health authorities are scrambling to contain.
It is now becoming clear that the 113-case Al-Taqwa College cluster and the 159-case public housing towers outbreak have strong connections.
In the US, more than 60,500 new COVID-19 infections were reported on Thursday, according to Reuters, setting a new one-day record.
As infections rose in 41 of the 50 states over the last two weeks, the US has become increasingly divided on issues such as the reopening of schools and businesses.
Today’s top gainers on the ASX include Platina Resources Limited (ASX:PGM) (+9.52%), Eclipse Metals Ltd (ASX:EPM) (+14.29%, Rimfire Pacific Mining N L (ASX:RIM) (+16.67%), Cipherpoint Ltd (ASX:CPT) (+14.71%) and Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd (ASX:COB) (+10.00%).
Proactive news headlines:
Bellevue Gold fields strong support for $100 million placement, reflecting quality of project
Bellevue Gold Ltd's (ASX:BGL) $100 million fully underwritten share placement has been strongly supported on the back of its impressive gold story with firm commitments from institutional investors for the issue of 100 million new shares at $1.00 per share. There was strong demand from domestic and offshore institutions with the book multiple times covered over the placement amount.
Creso Pharma wins second purchase order from Israel’s Univo for premium medicinal cannabis flower
Creso Pharma Ltd’s (ASX:CPH) (OTCMKTS:COPHF) (FRA:1X8) wholly-owned subsidiary Mernova Medicinal Ltd has secured a US$625,000 purchase order for its premium, cured and hand-trimmed dried medicinal cannabis flower from Univo Pharmaceuticals Ltd (TLV:UNVO).
Oklo Resources Seko drilling nears completion, on track to deliver maiden gold resource
Oklo Resources Ltd (ASX:OKU) has drilled a further 19 reverse circulation (RC) and 13 diamond drill holes at Seko deposit and is nearing completion of its 2020 drilling campaign at the flagship Dandoko Gold Project in west Mali due to the onset of the wet season.
De Grey Mining confirms further gold extensions at Brolga zone within growing Hemi discovery
De Grey Mining Limited (ASX:DEG) continues to expand gold endowment at the Hemi discovery in WA's Pilbara region with drilling still to define the limits of mineralisation. Extensional reverse circulation (RC) and diamond drilling continue to define strong gold mineralisation.
Moho Resources kicks off extensive drill campaign at East Sampson Dam gold prospect
Moho Resources Ltd (ASX:MOH) has begun an extensive four-stage drill program in its third drilling program at East Sampson Dam gold prospect, part of the company’s Silver Swan North Project in Western Australia. Phase one of the program is underway and involves 15 reverse circulation (RC) holes for around 1,400 metres of drilling.