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.
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.
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%).
Proactive news headlines:
Red River Resources hits visible gold in maiden diamond drilling at Hillgrove
Red River Resources Ltd (ASX:RVR) has received encouraging early results, including visible gold, from a maiden diamond drilling program targeting the Eleanora Garibaldi Lode at Hillgrove Gold Project in NSW
Alkane Resources identifies high-grade extensions below Roswell inferred resource
Alkane Resources Limited (ASX:ALK) (OTCMKTS:ALKEF) continues to enhance the underground mining potential of satellite deposits at Tomingley Gold Operations in Central West NSW with more high-grade results.
Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies sets up plant-based meat department headed by Professor Zohar Kerem
Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies Ltd (ASX:ROO) has set up a new plant-based meats department aimed at capitalising on study results that show the positive effects of its Root Zone Temperature Optimisation (RZTO) technology on the yield of protein-based plants.
Greenland Minerals closer to completing environmental review process for Kvanefjeld Rare Earth Project
Greenland Minerals Ltd (ASX:GGG) has been notified by Greenland’s Environmental Agency for Mineral Resources Activities (EAMRA) that the environmental impact assessment (EIA) review process for its world-class Kvanefjeld Rare Earth Project in Greenland is near completion.
Bryah Resources makes new nickel-copper-cobalt discovery in Bryah Basin
Bryah Resources Ltd (ASX:BYH) has made new a nickel-copper-cobalt discovery after assessing results from recently completed reverse circulation (RC) drilling at Mount Labouchere prospect within the Bryah Basin.