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S&P/ASX 200 drops 0.64% as weaker commodity prices weigh down the big miners

Gold slumped 1.5% to US$1,925.19 per ounce as the US dollar and Treasury yields rose after the Federal Reserve said it would allow inflation to run above 2% for some period.

Alkane Resources Ltd - S&P/ASX 200 drops 0.64% as weaker commodity prices weigh down the big miners
Oil prices fell in early trade on Friday as a massive hurricane which raced inland past the heart of the US oil industry spared refineries

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) fell 39 points or 0.64% to 6,087 at 12.53 pm with losses across almost all sectors with materials, technology and consumer discretionary experiencing some of the sharper falls.

The largest individual weights on the market include the major iron miners like BHP Group (ASX:BHP) which is down 2.1%, Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) dropping 2.4% and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) falling 1.4% as iron ore prices eased in overnight trade

Gaming company PointsBet (ASX:PBH) was an exception surging 60% following the announcement of a 5-year media betting partnership deal between its US subsidiary and NBC Sports.

The Australian dollar remains strong and is trading around its best levels in 18 months having hit a high of 72.9 US cents in overnight trade and is now buying 72.73 US cents.

COVID-19 update

Victoria recorded 113 new COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths in the past 24 hours.

The state’s chief health officer said Victoria's daily COVID-19 cases could drop to double digits over the weekend.

However, Victorians have been told that restrictions need to be eased gradually to avoid a third wave of COVID-19 flooding the state.

In the US, deaths from COVID-19 topped 180,000 on Thursday but there were some signs of an improving outlook.

Last week, deaths fell 17% from the prior week and below an average of 1,000 a day for the first time in weeks.

Top gainers

Today’s top gainers on the ASX include Roots Sustainable Agricultural Techn Ltd (ASX:ROO) (+26.09%), Cirralto Ltd (ASX:CRO) (+12.50%), Calima Energy Ltd (ASX:CE1) (+14.29%) and Whitebark Energy Ltd (ASX:WBE) (+33.33%).

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