S&P/ASX 200 gains 0.4% as higher commodity prices lift materials and energy sectors

The gold price is at US$2,039.75 per ounce today near its record high as a weaker US dollar and the economic fallout from COVID-19 drives investors to safe-haven assets.

Imugene Ltd - S&P/ASX 200 gains 0.4% as higher commodity prices lift materials and energy sectors
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos this week sold more than US$3.1 billion worth of shares in his company

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.

COVID-19 update

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.

Top gainers

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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Imugene guidance from US FDA progresses development pathway for VAXinia product

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