S&P/ASX 200 falls 1.67% as US second-quarter GDP plunges by worst-ever 32.9%

Gold price is steady at US$1,958.99 per ounce and on track for its best month in more than four years, as the global economic fallout from COVID-19 drove investors towards the safe-haven metal.

Arafura Resources Ltd - S&P/ASX 200 falls 1.67% after US second-quarter GDP plunges by worst-ever 32.9%
The Aussie dollar has surged in value to 72.20 US cents, a level not seen since February 2019

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) started the day lower and has declined 1.67% to 5950 at 12.21 pm following a weak lead from wall street.

The US economy suffered its worst period ever in the second quarter of 2020, with the GDP falling a historic 32.9% on an annualised basis.

It is worth noting that neither the Great Depression nor the Great Recession nor any other slump over the past two centuries have ever caused such a sharp drain on the economy.

Good news from China

China's factory activity expanded in July for the fifth month in a row to 51.1 in July from June's 50.9.

The 50-point mark separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.

COVID-19 update

Victoria recorded 627 new COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours after a record number of cases were recorded yesterday.

New South Wales reported 21 new COVID-19 infections today - its biggest daily increase since April 19.

As of Thursday evening, more than 4,499,800 people in the US have been infected with COVID-19 and at least 152,300 have died, according to a New York Times database.

Top gainers

Today’s top gainers on the ASX include Altech Chemicals Ltd (ASX:ATC) (+9.76%), Predictive Discovery Ltd (ASX:PDI) (+13.51%), K2FLY Ltd (ASX:K2F) (+7.14%), Ioneer Ltd (ASX:INR) (+8.33%) and Linius Technologies Ltd (ASX:LNU) (+6.67%).

Proactive news headlines:

Red River Resources gears up for Hillgrove gold restart on back of record Thalanga copper production

Red River Resources Limited (ASX:RVR) continues mining and processing at Thalanga Base Metals Operation in Northern Queensland while it accelerates restart activities at Hillgrove Gold Project in New South Wales.

Bryah Resources receives gold assays up to 58.4 g/t in samples around historical workings at Bryah Basin Project

Bryah Resources Ltd (ASX:BYH) is encouraged by gold results of up to 58.4 g/t from rock chip samples which confirm that the Bryah West Project north of Meekatharra in central Western Australia has "significant exploration potential".

Predictive Discovery higher on hitting wide gold zones in fresh rock at Guinea project

Predictive Discovery Ltd (ASX:PDI) is higher after intersecting wide zones of good to high-grade gold in fresh rock in the first five diamond holes at NE Bankan within the flagship Kaninko Gold Project in Guinea.

White Rock Minerals has diamond drill spinning in first-ever campaign at Last Chance gold target in Alaska

White Rock Minerals Ltd (ASX:WRM) has started diamond drilling in the first-ever drill campaign at Last Chance gold target, which is part of the wider Red Mountain Project in central Alaska.

Arafura Resources has major project status renewed for Nolans NdPr Project

Arafura Resources Limited (ASX:ARU) has had Major Project Status (MPS) for the 100%-owned Nolans Neodymium-Praseodymium (NdPr) Project in the Northern Territory renewed for a further three years by the Australian Government.

Auteco Minerals set to upgrade Pickle Crow Gold Project inventory with second rig and 24-person camp for year-round exploration

Auteco Minerals Ltd (ASX:AUT) (OTCMKTS:MNXMF) is advancing its strategy to upgrade the gold inventory at its Pickle Crow project in Ontario, Canada, with the arrival of a second rig and the setting up of a 24-person camp for year-round exploration.

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