S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) is up 23 points or 0.4% to 6,024 around lunch with the materials and energy sectors making the biggest moves.
The materials sector has received a boost from the larger miners in particular with BHP Group (ASX:BHP) rising 4.1% and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) up 1% even as it trades ex-dividend today.
Oil and gas stocks are also rallying as global oil prices trade near its five-month high.
However, the gains for local gold stocks have been muted even as the price of the precious metal continues to lift to all-time highs.
Victoria recorded 471 new COVID-19 cases and eight deaths, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison said updated Treasury modelling forecasts an additional hit to Australia’s GDP of up to $9 billion in the September quarter as a result of the harsher lockdown, with a up to 400,000 more people expected to be out of work.
More than 18.66 million people have been reported to be infected by COVID-19 globally, while death toll surpassed 700,000 on Wednesday, with the US, Brazil, India and Mexico leading the rise in fatalities.
The rapid rise in cases has dented hopes of a swift economic rebound, driving investors to safe-haven assets such as gold, which has risen more than 34% so far this year.
Today’s top gainers on the ASX include Calima Energy Ltd (ASX:CE1) (+25.00%), Twenty Seven Co Ltd (ASX:TSC) (+20.00%), Brookside Energy Ltd (ASX:BRK) (+25.00%), Archtis Ltd (ASX:AR9) (20.34%), Ansila Energy NL (ASX:ANA) (+22.22%) and Rimfire Pacific Mining N L (ASX:RIM) (+20.00%).
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Zelira Therapeutics accelerates transition to revenue-generation with Zenivol™ and HOPE™ launch in Australia by quarter-end
Imugene guidance from US FDA progresses development pathway for VAXinia product
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Graphex Mining hits high-grade gold and extends strike length at Tabakorole in southern Mali
Graphex Mining Ltd (ASX:GPX) has received high-grade gold results of up to 6 metres at 6.2 g/t gold from 14 metres including 3 metres at 11 g/t and extended the strike length by around 600 metres during drilling at the recently acquired Tabakorole Gold Project in southern Mali.
Cobalt Blue’s Broken Hill project a game-changer in cobalt industry
Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd (ASX:COB) (OTCMKTS:CBBHF) (FRA:COH) is turning heads in the global cobalt industry with its strategy targeting the ethical production of high-grade, battery-ready cobalt sulphate from the Broken Hill Cobalt Project (BHCP).
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Lithium Australia gains international patent support for lithium phosphate recovery technology
Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT), has received a clear international preliminary report on the patentability of processes described in its patent application for the recovery of lithium phosphate (LP) from lithium-bearing solutions.
Great Western Exploration raises $2.5 million to advance exploration at Golden Corridor Project
Great Western Exploration Ltd (ASX:GTE) has received commitments from professional and sophisticated investors to raise around $2.5 million in a placement cornerstoned by regarded mining executives Simon Lee AO and Morgan Hart.
Corazon Mining resumes drilling priority nickel sulphide target at Lynn Lake in Canada
Corazon Mining Ltd (ASX:CZN) has recommenced drilling at Fraser Lake Complex (FLC) within the Lynn Lake Nickel-Copper-Cobalt Sulphide Project in Manitoba province, Canada, testing a new priority nickel sulphide target.