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S&P/ASX 200 loses steam and drops 0.67% after Victoria reports record spike in COVID-19 cases

Gold prices edged up on Wednesday to US$1,811.41 per ounce, as a surge in COVID-19 cases and simmering US-China tensions bolstered safe-haven demand.

Alkane Resources Ltd - S&P/ASX 200 loses steam and drops 0.67% after Victoria reports record spike in COVID-19 cases
Oil prices dropped today after OPEC and allies such as Russia agreed to ease record supply curbs from August

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) was in the green after it opened but has since lost its way and is trading 41 points or 0.67% softer at 6,012 by 1.05 pm.

This is despite a strong lead from Wall Street with US investors remaining hopeful on the positive phase one trial results from Moderna Inc’s (NASDAQ:MRNA) potential COVID-19 vaccine.

But domestic news is not so good today with another daily record number of COVID-19 cases out of Victoria and a larger than expected lift in June unemployment.

Seasonally adjusted employment increased by 210,800 people between May and June, and the unemployment rate rose from 7.1% to 7.4%, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The rise in employment was completely in part-time jobs with a fall in fulltime employment.

COVID-19 update

Premier Daniel Andrews announced a new 24-hour record of 317 COVID-19 cases in Victoria and two deaths overnight.

NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said the state had recorded 10 new COVID-19 cases bringing the state’s total to 3338.

Johns Hopkins University, which tracks the spread of the disease, said late Wednesday that 67,632 new cases of the disease had been reported across the US in the previous 24 hours, a new national record.

Top gainers

Today’s top gainers on the ASX include Australian Vanadium Ltd (ASX:AVL) (+10.00%), Polarx Ltd (ASX:PXX) (+16.28%), King River Resources Ltd (ASX:KRR) (+13.33%), Cardiex Ltd (ASX:CDX) (+10.00%) and Latin Resources Ltd (ASX:LRS) (+11.11%)

Proactive news headlines:

White Rock Minerals completes second tranche of placement raising $4.44 million

White Rock Minerals Ltd (ASX:WRM) has completed the second tranche of its A$7.35 million placement to institutional and sophisticated investors announced in May. Funds will be spent towards White Rock's exploration program at its Red Mountain Project in Alaska, particularly at the recently discovered Last Chance gold stream sediment anomaly and for working capital purposes.

Alkane Resources hits more broad, high-grade gold at Roswell and San Antonio

Alkane Resources Limited (ASX:ALK) (OTCMKTS:ALKEF) is set to upgrade gold resources at two deposits south of its Tomingley Gold Operations in NSW with results of up to 102 metres at 4.07 g/t and 62 metres at 4.01 g/t.

Moho Resources eagerly awaits results from phase one drilling at East Sampson gold prospect

Moho Resources Ltd (ASX:MOH) is eagerly awaiting results after completing phase one of its 2020 reverse circulation (RC) drilling program at the East Sampson Dam gold prospect in WA which is part of resource definition studies to infill and extend gold mineralisation.

King River Resources set to start gold exploration programs at Mount Remarkable and Tennant Creek

King River Resources Ltd (ASX:KRR) is higher on news that it will next month begin its 2020 gold exploration program after delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. The company plans to undertake a 2,500-metre reverse circulation (RC) program at Mt Remarkable in Western Australia and a 2,000-metre RC program at Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory.

Latin Resources buoyed by strong response to heavily oversubscribed share purchase plan

Latin Resources Ltd (ASX:LRS) (FRA:XL5) is buoyed by the very strong support demonstrated for its recent share purchase plan (SPP) which has closed heavily oversubscribed to the tune of 83% above the target. The SPP was announced last month and set up to raise $627,000, however applications received totalled more than $1.15 million.

Blackstone Minerals begins exploration at new high-grade nickel-copper-PGE target of Ta Khoa project

Blackstone Minerals Ltd (ASX:BSX) has begun exploration at Ta Cuong, its second massive sulphide vein (MSV) prospect at the Ta Khoa Nickel-Copper-Platinum Group Elements (PGE) Project in northern Vietnam.

Eclipse Metals to begin on-site exploration at Devil’s Elbow Project next week

Eclipse Metals Ltd (ASX:EPM) will kick-off preliminary field exploration at Devil’s Elbow Uranium-Gold-Palladium Project next week with the Northern Territory set to re-open to visitors from July 17.

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