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S&P/ASX 200 drops as quarterly consumer price index sees biggest fall in 72 years

Gold prices steadied to US$1,957.84 per ounce today as worries over rising cases of COVID-19 and expectations of possible inflation from more stimulus measures underpinned the metal.

Argonaut Resources NL - S&P/ASX 200 drops as quarterly consumer price index sees biggest fall in 72 years
Oil prices fell around 1% yesterday as US lawmakers prepared to wrangle over an economic stimulus package

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) is down 0.27% at 12.45 pm as Queensland announced it will shut its borders to anyone from Greater Sydney starting 1 am on Saturday.

Australia’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell 1.9% in the June 2020 quarter, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS chief economist Bruce Hockman said: “This was the largest quarterly fall in the 72-year history of the CPI.”

Hockman attributed the decline in the June quarter to factors such as free child care and a significant fall in the price of automotive fuel.

Investor focus will likely be on the upcoming rate decision by the US Fed, expected to be out today.

COVID-19 update

Victoria recorded 295 new COVID-19 cases and nine new deaths in the past 24 hours.

New South Wales' biggest COVID-19 cluster has seen a massive surge in cases, with 10 of today’s 19 cases linked to the Thai Rock restaurant in Wetherill Park. The total number of infections in this cluster is now 85.

The US on Tuesday recorded 1,592 new COVID-19 deaths in 24 hours, the highest number of daily fatalities in 2.5 months. The country also notched more than 60,000 new COVID-19 cases in one day.

Top gainers

Today’s top gainers on the ASX include Australian Vanadium Ltd (ASX:AVL) (+10.00%), Twenty Seven Co Ltd (ASX:TSC) (+20.00%), White Rock Minerals Ltd (ASX:WRM) (+16.67%), Great Western Exploration Limited (ASX:GTE) (+22.58%), Argonaut Resources NL (ASX:ARE) (+12.50%) and Castillo Copper Ltd (ASX:CCZ) (+10.00%).

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