S&P/ASX 200 surges 1.2% and breaks through 6000-level on COVID-19 vaccine progress

Oil prices rose today after a sharp drop in US crude inventories, with the market waiting for more direction from an OPEC+ meeting later in the day.

Newcrest Mining Limited - S&P/ASX 200 surges 1.2% and breaks through 6000-level on COVID-19 vaccine progress
Gold is holding firm above the key US$1,800 level as worries over simmering China-US tensions lifted demand for the safe-haven metal

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) is trading 1.2% higher at 6013 by lunch as hopes for a COVID-19 vaccine rise.

Moderna Inc’s (NASDAQ:MRNA) experimental vaccine showed it was safe and provoked immune responses in all 45 healthy volunteers in an ongoing phase 1 trial.

However, it should be noted that there are two more trial stages to work through.

The Dow jumped more than 500 points yesterday to post its best day in two weeks. The S&P 500 surged 1.3%.

Miners and tech rise

Miners and tech stocks have enjoyed the biggest gains on the ASX today, supported by health, industrials, energy and consumer discretionaries.

Newcrest (ASX:NCM), Northern Star (ASX:NST) and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) have all gained more than 1.5%.

COVID-19 update

Victoria recorded 238 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours and premier Daniel Andrews warned restrictions could be tightened if Victorians do not stop breaking the rules.

In New South Wales, two more pubs have shut down in Sydney this morning as a cluster in the city continues to spread.

More than 900 COVID-19 deaths were announced in the US on Tuesday, including single-day records in Alabama, Florida and Utah.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump said: "We test more than anybody by far. And when you test, you create cases. So we have created cases.

“I can tell you that some countries, they test when somebody walks into a hospital sick or walks into maybe a doctor's office, but usually a hospital.

“That is the testing they do, so they do not have cases, whereas we have all these cases. So, it is a double-edged sword.”

Top gainers

Today’s top gainers on the ASX include Paradigm Biopharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX:PAR) (+11.66%), Nelson Resources Ltd (ASX:NES) (+13.04%), Talisman Mining Ltd (ASX:TLM) (+14.29%), Platina Resources Limited (ASX:PGM) (+12.28%) and Latin Resources Ltd (ASX:LRS) (+66.67%).

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