S&P/ASX 200 dips below flat line for the first time this week

US West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices surged to a 11-week high of US$41.82 per barrel on hopes that OPEC+ will delay a planned increase in oil output.

THC Global Group Ltd - S&P/ASX 200
Pfizer confirmed its COVID-19 vaccine was more effective than previously reported.

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) is lower for the first time this week but has regained some of the early losses and was trading 0.07% down at 6526 by about 1.49 pm.

The muted opening for the index follows overnight losses on Wall Street as investors remain focussed on new lockdown measures in parts of the US which are likely to hamper economic growth.

Insurers fall; Bluescope Steel surges

The biggest losses are for the insurance names including QBE Insurance (ASX:QBE) which is down 3.55% while Suncorp (ASX:SUN) is 3.24% lower.

Insurers have lost a case in the NSW Court of Appeals in relation to a business interruptions cover relating to COVID-19.

Bluescope Steel (ASX:BSL) is a big gainer today, rising 5.82% after the steel producer lifted its 1H21 underlying earnings guidance by ~40% from the same time last year to $475 million.

The surge in expected profit is driven by stronger demand in materials for home building in the US.

Top gainers

Today’s top gainers on the ASX include THC Global Group Ltd (ASX:THC) (+9.30%), Oakdale Resources Ltd (ASX:OAR) (+9.52%), Andromeda Metals Ltd (ASX:AND) (+15.52%), PNX Metals Ltd (ASX:PNX) (+12.50%), Linius Technologies Ltd (ASX:LNU) (+21.43%), Brookside Energy Ltd (ASX:BRK) (+20.00%), Boadicea Resources Ltd (ASX:BOA) (+14.29%) and Engage:BDR Ltd (ASX:EN1) (+16.67%).

Proactive news headlines:

Australian Strategic Materials confirms commercial scalability of innovative metallisation process

Australian Strategic Materials Ltd (ASX:ASM) has confirmed the commercial scalability of its innovative metallisation process by producing 120 kilograms of titanium copper alloy with 99.5% purity at its facility in South Korea.

Moho Resources hits high-grade gold up to 2 metres at 18 g/t in drilling at East Sampson Dam

Moho Resources Ltd (ASX:MOH) has hit high-grade gold from resource definition diamond drilling, designed to infill and extend gold mineralisation at the East Sampson Dam (ESD) gold prospect within the wider Silver Swan North Project in Western Australia.

King River Resources switches to alternative route to HPA production

King River Resources Ltd (ASX:KRR) confirmed that its pre-feasibility study (PFS) test work and studies for the Speewah Project have identified a more direct route to complete a process design with a lower risk and a faster path towards high purity alumina (HPA) production.

Anson Resources’ initial exploration program finds three major targets at The Bull Project, now a priority focus

Anson Resources Ltd’s (ASX:ASN) (FRA:9MY) initial ground-truthing program at the 100%-owned The Bull Project in Western Australia has confirmed the interpreted mafic-ultramafic intrusive complex, with copper values up to 1,845 parts per million (ppm).

Euro Manganese orders high-purity manganese products demonstration plant

Euro Manganese Inc (ASX:EMN) (CVE:EMN) (FRA:E06A) has taken a key step in bringing Chvaletice Manganese Project in the Czech Republic to production by placing an order for a high-purity manganese products demonstration plant.

GTI Resources to begin RC drilling at Niagara Gold Project next month

GTI Resources Ltd (ASX:GTR) has received and analysed multi-element assays from the recently completed first pass shallow aircore drilling program at Niagara Gold Project southwest of Kookynie in the central Goldfields of Western Australia.

Emyria teams up with Mind Medicine Australia to develop national care program and data registry for psychedelic-assisted therapies

Emyria Limited (ASX:EMD) is partnering with Mind Medicine Australia to co-develop a gold-standard and data-driven clinical model for the safe provision of psychedelic-assisted therapies in Australia.

Bardoc Gold drilling confirms growth potential of Sigma Lode at 1.7-million-ounce Aphrodite gold deposit

Bardoc Gold Ltd's (ASX:BDC) results from recent resource definition and exploration drilling at the cornerstone Aphrodite deposit, part of its 3.03-million-ounce Bardoc Gold Project near Kalgoorlie, demonstrate growth potential in the under-explored Sigma Lode.

Archer Materials takes big steps in advancing 12CQ quantum computing chip towards qubit control milestone

Archer Materials Limited (ASX:AXE) (FRA:38A) has made significant progress in advancing the development of its 12CQ quantum computing chip, which is focused on achieving the major technological milestone of qubit control.

Jindalee Resources' McDermitt Lithium Project strategically placed to capitalise on US drive for domestic supply

Jindalee Resources Ltd (ASX:JRL) is focused on its strategically placed McDermitt Lithium Project in Oregon, USA, and drilling is underway aimed at extending the inferred resource and exploration target with results expected in late December.

Red River Resources enhances Hillgrove after hitting high-grade gold at Curry’s Lode

Red River Resources Limited (ASX:RVR) has received strong results from a maiden diamond drilling program targeting Curry’s Lode at the Hillgrove Gold Project in northern NSW with all holes intersecting gold-tungsten-antimony mineralisation.

engage:BDR signs five more programmatic customers with new integrations on track

engage:BDR Ltd (ASX:EN1) has signed five new programmatic customers – ad buyers LoopMe, Sonobi and AdMixer; programmatic publisher VRTCALL and video streaming platform TikiLIVE TV - with the new integrations on-track to be live by the end of this month.

Lotus Resources Kayelekera Project well-positioned for the next uranium cycle

Lotus Resources Ltd (ASX:LOT) is confident its Kayelekera Project in Malawi is a proven option in the uranium sector at a time when the uranium market is poised for a re-rating due to an impending supply and demand imbalance.

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