S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) surged 1.2% to 6183 by noon - a two-month high with the banks, miners, and property stocks lifting strongly.
The market has added more than 36% since the COVID-19 crash in March 2020 and is now just 14% off its all-time record close reached in February 2020.
According to Commonwealth Bank, credit and debit card spending in the week to August 7 was up 8.4% on a year ago, compared to a 3.2% lift for the week ended July 31.
Online spending surged 20.8% (previous week: up 5.8%) and in-store spending was up 2.9% over the period (previous week: also up 2.9%).
The Kepler index of retail sales activity reported that aggregate sales fell by 7.9% last week (August 9) to be down 24.9% on the year. Sales were down 45.3% in Victoria.
89% of Victorian retail stores were closed in the past week compared with 32% for all of Australia.
Australian restaurant reservations were down 27.5% on August 9 from a year earlier, according to OpenTable.
Victoria has recorded 331 new COVID-19 cases and 19 deaths in the past 24 hours.
The US death toll from COVID-19 fell 16% to about 7,200 people last week, the first decline in deaths after four weeks of increases, according to a Reuters tally.
The country recorded more than 376,000 new COVID-19 cases for the week ended August 9, or an average of roughly 53,000 per day.
Today’s top gainers on the ASX include Calima Energy Ltd (ASX:CE1) (+40.00%), FYI Resources Ltd (ASX:FYI) (+14.29%), Creso Pharma Ltd (ASX:CPH) (+15.62%), Domacom Australia Ltd (ASX:DCL) (+23.33%), Ansila Energy NL (ASX:ANA) (+22.73%) and Mako Gold Ltd (ASX:MKG) (+20.00%).
Proactive news headlines:
TNT Mines sampling produces more high-grade uranium and vanadium at Bonanza workings in US
TNT Mines Ltd (ASX:TIN) has received further high-grade uranium and vanadium results from sampling at the Bonanza workings of the 100%-owned East Canyon Uranium-Vanadium Project, in southeast Utah, USA.
Mako Gold hits 13 metres averaging 20.82 g/t gold in shallow drilling at Napié in Côte d’Ivoire, shares up
Mako Gold Ltd (ASX:MKG) has received further high-grade results of up to 13 metres averaging 20.82 g/t gold that demonstrate thick and high-grade mineralisation within 50 vertical metres of surface at Tchaga prospect within the Napié Gold Project in Côte d’Ivoire.
XTEK joins government-funded program to demonstrate its technology for the Australian Army
Calima Energy buoyed by growing interest of large players in Montney Formation oil & gas
Calima Energy Ltd (ASX:CE1) (FRA:R1Y) is encouraged by strong and continuing interest by large oil & gas companies in the Montney Formation in northeast British Columbia, Canada, in which it holds a highly prospective position.
Andromeda Metals boosts kaolin inventory with upgraded Mount Hope resource
Andromeda Metals Ltd (ASX:ADN) has increased its kaolin inventory in South Australia with an upgraded resource estimate for its Mount Hope Kaolin Project, which represents a 47% increase on the previous non-JORC resource.
Castillo Copper at 2-year high as pre-drilling site visit confirms visible copper at Mt Oxide Pillar
Paradigm Biopharmaceuticals receives critical approvals and feedback from agencies to progress MPS
Paradigm Biopharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX:PAR) has achieved a number of key approvals required to progress investigation into the use of its core drug Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium (PPS) in the treatment of the rare disease mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS).