S&P/ASX 200 pares loss as Fortescue Metals' net profit surges 49% to a record US$4.7 billion

Premier Daniel Andrews warned Victoria's COVID-19 restrictions could be kept in place for 12 more months if a vaccine is not developed.

Comet Resources Ltd - S&P/ASX 200 pares loss as Fortescue Metals' net profit surges 49% to a record US$4.7 billion
Spot gold marked its second consecutive weekly loss by closing around US$1,940 on Friday

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) was down by as much as 0.3% at the open but has since recovered as iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) reported a 49% increase in annual post-tax profit to US$4.7 billion.

The company will pay a $1 final dividend fully franked on October 2 after a year of high iron ore prices and healthy profit margins.

S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.13% to 6119 points at 12.36 pm along with major Asian markets which were ahead in early trade, including a 1.5% gain for the Hang Seng and a 1% rise for the KOSPI.

COVID-19 update

Victoria has recorded 116 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours which is the lowest daily number of cases in seven weeks. But sadly, there were 15 deaths in the past 24 hours.

Victoria’s state of emergency is due to end on September 13 but Premier Daniel Andrews said the state cannot afford to end all restrictions.

He said the state of emergency “is the legal instrument that allows rules about face masks, about COVID safe work plans in workplaces large and small, that is the legal instrument that sits behind density limits in pubs and cafes and restaurants.

“Before September 13 (we) will extend the state of emergency provisions within the public health and well-being act for a maximum of a 12 months. So that means it will be a total of 18 months.

“The six months we have already been through plus a further 12 months.”

Top gainers

Today’s top gainers on the ASX include Kin Mining NL (ASX:KIN) (+13.64%), Oakdale Resources Ltd (ASX:OAR) (+20.00%), Eclipse Metals Ltd (ASX:EPM) (+14.29%), Archtis Ltd (ASX:AR9) (+15.05%), Talisman Mining Ltd (ASX:TLM) (+7.69%) and Linius Technologies Ltd (ASX:LNU) (7.69%).

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