S&P/ASX 200’s weak start gets worse after Victoria, NSW daily COVID-19 update

AstraZeneca said it could deliver doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in the UK as early as September if the results of its vaccine trials with Oxford University are promising.

Archer Materials Ltd -
Gold prices jumped on Friday, marking its sixth consecutive weekly gain

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) is 0.66% in the red at lunch, dragged down by losses from banks, travel stocks, energy and retail names.

Gains for gold miners, BHP Group Ltd (ASX:BHP) (+1.20), Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) (+1.04%), healthcare and tech stocks helped minimise the loss.

COVID-19 update

The Victorian premier this morning said the state had detected another 275 COVID-19 cases over the past day, while NSW has 20 new cases.

US deaths from the novel coronavirus exceeded 140,000 on Saturday as cases continued to rise in 43 out of 50 states over the last two weeks.

However, the market is likely to respond positively this week to signs of a COVID-19 vaccine getting closer.

AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) and Oxford University are expected to provide an update on their vaccine work in the next 24 hours.  AstraZeneca has said it could deliver doses of a vaccine in the UK as early as September if results are promising.

Top gainers

Today’s top gainers on the ASX include Brookside Energy Ltd (ASX:BRK) (+20.00%), Corazon Mining Ltd (ASX:CZN) (+100.00%), Argonaut Resources NL (ASX:ARE) (+14.29%), Rimfire Pacific Mining N L (ASX:RIM) (+16.67%) and K2FLY Ltd (ASX:K2F) (13.04%).

Proactive news headlines:

Fe Limited shares surge after Morck Well JV drilling returns high-grade gold hits

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Cardinal Resources receives sovereign ratification for Namdini Gold Project mining licence

Cardinal Resources Ltd (ASX:CDV) has received sovereign parliamentary ratification for the mining licence of its Namdini Gold Project in Ghana. Parliamentary ratification of the licence paves the way for secure and solid project development.

Archer Materials confirms halloysite presence across Eyre Peninsula project in South Australia

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White Rock Minerals $10 million share purchase plan endorses Last Chance gold strategy

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Theta Gold Mines appoints preferred mining contractor as it moves towards trial mining

Theta Gold Mines Ltd (ASX:TGM) has selected an experienced and respected mining contractor in Digmin Group, which will allow the company to rapidly advance trial mining activities at the Starter Theta Project in South Africa.

Lithium Australia expects strong revenue as it limits COVID impacts on battery businesses

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Artemis Resources completes drilling at Greater Carlow and new SingSix target

Artemis Resources Ltd (ASX:ARV) has completed a reverse circulation (RC) drilling program at Carlow West and the new nearby SingSix target at which broad zones of significant shearing and alteration zones were intersected.

Australian Potash executes third agreement in global offtake program

Australian Potash Ltd (ASX:APC) has signed a long-form binding agreement with Mitsui & Co Ltd (TYO:8031) (Asia Pacific) for the annual supply of 30,000 tonnes of premium K-Brite sulphate of potash (SOP) from its Lake Wells SOP Project (LSOP) in Western Australia.

Corazon Mining’ rights offer to fund nickel drilling in Canada as the metal price rises

Corazon Mining Ltd (ASX:CZN) is raising up to $963,958 via a rights offer of shares at 0.2 cents each to progress exploration activities at the Lynn Lake Project in Canada and the Mt Gilmore Project in New South Wales.

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