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S&P/ASX 200 rises for a fifth session in a row; up 2.5% this week

Wall Street received a boost yesterday after lawmakers agreed to resume negotiations over a potential new COVID-19 relief bill, but stocks futures fell in overnight trading.

Orthocell Ltd - S&P/ASX 200
Oil prices fell 0.32% to US$44.20 per barrel as hopes for a vaccine were overshadowed by a surge in new cases.

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) was trading 0.21% above the flat line at 6561 by about 1.30 pm and is on track for its third consecutive week of improvement.

The IT and healthcare sectors are leading today, rising 1.25% and 1.23% respectively, with some of the smaller healthcare stocks witnessing the biggest moves.

Regis Healthcare (ASX:REG) surged 23% after receiving and rejecting an unsolicited takeover offer from Washington H Soul Pattinson (ASX:SOL) valuing Regis at ~$556 million.

Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) gained 14% after signing a deal with Novartis (SWX:NOVN) for the development of Mesoblast’s remestemcel-L therapy to treat acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) associated with COVID-19.

Top gainers

Today’s top gainers on the ASX include Orthocell Ltd (ASX:OCC) (+14.67%), Artemis Resources Ltd (ASX:ARV) (+13.64%), Black Rock Mining Ltd (ASX:BKT) (+8.54%), Corazon Mining Ltd (ASX:CZN) (+50.00%), Brookside Energy Ltd (ASX:BRK) (+16.67%), Elementos Limited (ASX:ELT) (+20.00%) and Engage:BDR Ltd (ASX:EN1) (+14.29%).

Proactive news headlines:

Salt Lake Potash Lake Way Project 74% complete and on-track for production next quarter

Salt Lake Potash Ltd (ASX:SO4) remains confident that the Lake Way Project in the Western Australian Goldfields is on-track for first sulphate of potash (SOP) production in quarter one of 2021.

AVZ Minerals moves towards offtake agreements for its Manono Lithium and Tin Project

AVZ Minerals Ltd (ASX:AVZ) non-executive chairman John Clarke told the company’s annual general meeting that despite a global pandemic the company has delivered significant progress for its world-class Manono Lithium and Tin Project.

Orthocell shares sharply higher on back of positive results in CelGro® nerve repair clinical study

Orthocell Ltd (ASX:OCC) shares are higher on news of positive long-term clinical data for nerve repair with CelGro® resulting in predictable and consistent restoration of upper limb function.

Blue Star Helium raises $6 million to fund multi-well drilling and secures additional Colorado acreage

Blue Star Helium Ltd (ASX:BNL) has received firm commitments to raise up to A$6 million to fund a multi-well drilling program, further material lease acquisitions and provide working capital.

Great Southern Mining's oversubscribed placement raises $3.12 million to step-up gold exploration

Great Southern Mining Ltd (ASX:GSN) has raised $3.12 million in an oversubscribed placement to accelerate exploration programs at the Cox’s Find and Mon Ami gold projects in Western Australia.

Alicanto Minerals attracts strong placement support with $6 million to fund extensive drilling at Greater Falun Copper-Gold Project

Alicanto Minerals Limited (ASX:AQI) has received firm commitments from institutional and sophisticated investors totalling $6 million via a placement at 13 cents per share.

VRX Silica raises $7 million in strongly supported placement to advance silica sand projects

VRX Silica Ltd (ASX:VRX) has received binding commitments for a capital raising via a share placement to institutional, professional and sophisticated investors to raise $7 million before costs.

Legend Mining diamond drilling at Mawson points "to a large system driving the mineralisation event"

Legend Mining Limited (ASX:LEG) has received further evidence of the strong nickel-copper sulphide potential of the  Mawson discovery at Rockford Project in WA's Fraser Range with new assays from diamond drilling including 14.45 metres at 2.63% nickel, 2.09% copper and 0.14% cobalt from 162.05 metres.

Sipa Resources enhances gold focus with farm-in and JV deals over several Murchison region tenements

Sipa Resources Ltd (ASX:SRI) (FRA:SPO), which is transitioning to focus more on gold exploration in 2021, has executed a package of farm-in and joint venture agreements over a number of tenements prospective for gold mineralisation in the Murchison area of Western Australia.

Talisman Mining about to start reverse circulation percussion drilling at Blind Calf Copper Prospect in NSW

Talisman Mining Ltd (ASX:TLM) (FRA:RJA) will kick-off a reverse circulation (RC) percussion drilling program within the next few days at Blind Calf Copper Prospect within the Lachlan Copper-Gold Project in central New South Wales.

Oakdale Resources encouraged by indications of kaolinite and halloysite in Gibraltar aircore drilling

Oakdale Resources Ltd (ASX:OAR) (FRA:F1S) has registered the presence of kaolinite and halloysite minerals after completing an aircore drilling program at the Gibraltar project adjacent to Andromeda Metals Ltd (ASX:ADN) Mt Hope Kaolin-Halloysite Project on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.

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