S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) is flat at 6075 around 12.40 pm after confirmation of the biggest budget deficit since World War II and a continued rise in COVID-19 cases in New South Wales and Victoria.
At a special budget update today, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the budget will be in the red by $85.8 billion in 2019-20 and $184.5 billion in 2020-21, marking the biggest deficit since World War II due to drastic spending to mitigate the damage from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Frydenberg added the unemployment rate was expected to reach 9.25% in the December quarter, while real GDP would fall by 0.25% in 2019-20 and shrink 2.5% in 2020-21.
Victoria recorded 403 new COVID-19 cases and five further deaths in the last 24 hours. New South Wales has 19 new cases.
Iron ore drops but gold gains
The materials sector was flat with iron ore and gold miners moving in opposite directions.
BHP Group Ltd (ASX:BHP) fell 0.56%, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) dropped 1.38% and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) shed 1.37% after iron ore prices edged lower overnight.
Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) was up 1.76% after gold topped $US1,870 an ounce and edged towards all-time highs.
Today’s top gainers on the ASX include Engage:BDR Ltd (ASX:EN1) (+25.00%), Kingwest Resources Ltd (ASX:KWR) (+13.33%), Brookside Energy Ltd (ASX:BRK) (+20.00%), Domacom Australia Ltd (ASX:DCL) (11.90%) amd Whitebark Energy Ltd (ASX:WBE) (+33.33%).
Proactive news headlines:
Kingwest Resources higher after increasing gold resources at Menzies by 37% to 320,000 ounces
Kingwest Resources Ltd (ASX:KWR) is higher after an updated resource estimate for Lady Shenton deposit and a maiden estimate for the Stirling deposit increased overall resources at its Menzies Gold Project (MGP) by 37% to 320,000 ounces.
St George Mining encouraged by signs at Investigators as Mt Alexander diamond drilling progresses
St George Mining Ltd’s (ASX:SGQ) is encouraged by promising signs returned from ongoing diamond drilling at the Investigators prospect of its flagship Mt Alexander Nickel-Copper Sulphide Project in Western Australia.
Pharmaxis submits Investigational New Drug application for treatment of myelofibrosis
Pharmaxis Ltd (ASX:PXS) (OTCMKTS:PXSLY) (FRA:UUD) has submitted an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a planned phase 1/2 study of PXS-5505 for the treatment of myelofibrosis
Element 25 more than doubles target with heavily oversubscribed SPP raising $3.2 million
Element 25 Ltd (ASX:E25) has closed its share purchase plan (SPP) announced on July 6 heavily oversubscribed after receiving applications worth in excess of $3.2 million, more than double the original target.
Bardoc Gold enhances Bardoc project with Mayday North extension and potential new mineralised corridor
Bardoc Gold Ltd (ASX:BDC) has intersected further broad zones of gold mineralisation during reverse circulation (RC) drilling at the Mayday North deposit and returned promising results from early exploration drilling outside the main deposit.
Lake Resources to support global 'green' push with sustainable lithium strategy as Europe unveils clean energy investments
Lake Resources NL (ASX:LKE) (CMKTS:LLKKF) will support the global push for cleaner energy using its leading sustainable and scalable direct lithium extraction process as more countries, including those in Europe, unveil 'cleaner and greener' strategies incorporating electric vehicles.
Cardinal Resources fields improved offer of A$0.70 from Shandong Gold
Cardinal Resources Ltd (ASX:CDV) (TSE:CDV) (OTCMKTS:CRDNF) has received a revised and improved takeover offer proposal from Shandong Gold Mining (Hong Kong) Co Limited of A$0.70 per share, up from A$0.60.