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S&P/ASX 200 on track for its best week in six as big four banks rally

Gold fell to US$1,847.57, its lowest level in over two months on Thursday, as the safe-haven US dollar continued its rise on fears around global economic recovery.

Netlinkz Ltd - S&P/ASX 200
The big four banks surged following news that responsible lending laws will be eased for banks

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) is on track for a second weekly improvement in a row after rising 1.23% to 5948 by about 2.05 pm, easily leading the Asia Pacific markets.

The big move was led by the financials, and in particular, the big four banks in the wake of the federal government's intent to wind back responsible lending laws.

Change in lending laws

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg today unveiled "the most significant reforms to Australia's credit framework in a decade" in a bid to reduce red tape for lenders and increase the flow of credit to consumers and businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The changes mean the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) will be removed from policing responsible lending laws for banks, with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority to enforce lending standards.

Consumer groups warned the move could unwind important consumer protections built up over many years.

Banks and miners gain

Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) was 3.4% higher, Westpac (ASX:WBC) gained 6.54% and National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX:NAB) was up 6.2%.

The big miners were also strong, with BHP Group Ltd (ASX:BHP) up 2% and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) up 1.03%.

The Australian dollar remains around 70.5 US cents, down 3.3% this week.

Top gainers

Today’s top gainers on the ASX include Netlinkz Ltd (ASX:NET) (+11.11%), FYI Resources Ltd (ASX:FYI) (+12.50%), Altech Chemicals Ltd (ASX:ATC) (+12.77%), TNT Mines Ltd (ASX:TIN) (+15.79%), Roots Sustainable Agricultural Techn Ltd (ASX:ROO) (+13.64%), Macarthur Minerals Ord Shs (ASX:MIO) (+17.02%), Andromeda Metals Ltd (ASX:AND) (+20.83%), Jindalee Resources Limited (ASX:JRL) (+54.55%) and Ironbark Zinc Limited (ASX:IBG) (+16.67%).

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