S&P/ASX 200 shares edge lower as Australia is technically out of a recession

Brent crude oil futures extended losses today, falling 0.6% to US$47.15 a barrel as OPEC and its allies delayed a formal meeting to decide whether to increase output in January.

Creso Pharma Ltd - S&P/ASX 200
Gold prices fell 0.1% to US$1,813.75 per ounce after surging more than 2% in the previous session.

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) was down 0.28% to 6570 by around 1.40 pm even as the latest GDP figures showed that the Australian economy grew by 3.3% in the September quarter after falling by 7% in the June quarter and 0.3% in the March quarter.

While the gross domestic product (GDP) is still down 3.8% compared to last year, the quarterly growth represents the end of Australia’s technical recession (two straight quarters of contraction).

The head of national accounts at the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Michael Smedes, said the easing of social distancing and trading conditions through the quarter had helped drive the result.

Westpac to sell insurance arm

Westpac Banking Corp (ASX:WBC) will sell its general insurance arm to German insurer Allianz SE (ETR:ALV) for $725 million, further trimming its portfolio to beef up capital and focus on local business.

The deal includes a 20-year agreement for the distribution of insurance products to Westpac's customers.

The transaction is the latest in a series of sales of underperforming insurance assets by the country’s Big Four banks as they re-focus on local core operations.

Top gainers

Today’s top gainers on the ASX include Creso Pharma Ltd (ASX:CPH) (+38.00%), Australian Vanadium Ltd (ASX:AVL) (+15.38%), Calima Energy Ltd (ASX:CE1) (+12.50%), Horizon Minerals Ltd (ASX:HRZ) (+10.00%), Carnavale Resources Limited (ASX:CAV) (+10.00%), Roots Sustainable Agricultural Techn Ltd (ASX:ROO) (+13.64%) and White Rock Minerals Ltd (ASX:WRM) (+14.14%).

Proactive news headlines:

Chalice Gold Mines successful $100 million institutional placement accelerates exploration activities at Julimar

Chalice Gold Mines Limited (ASX:CHN) has received firm commitments for a $100 million placement to sophisticated, professional and institutional investors.

Pan Asia Metals given green light to drill NSW tungsten project

Pan Asia Metals Ltd (ASX:PAM) plans to start drilling the Doyenwae prospect within Minter Tungsten Project in New South Wales after receiving State Government approval for a six-hole reverse circulation (RC) drilling program of 1000-1200 metres.

Australian Vanadium signs strategic offtake MOU with key US vanadium specialty chemical producer

Australian Vanadium Ltd (ASX:AVL) (OTCMKTS:ATVVF) (FRA:JT71) has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with US Vanadium LLC (USV) in relation to offtake from the Australian Vanadium Project in Western Australia.

Aeris Resources has more success at Anomaly K and confirms regional copper prospectivity

Aeris Resources Ltd’s (ASX:AIS) second drill hole at Anomaly K target within the tenement package comprising the Tritton operations in New South Wales has intersected a 3.4-metre zone of massive sulphides.

Kingston Resources delivers high-grade intercepts from Homestead prospect of Livingstone Gold Project

Kingston Resources Ltd (ASX:KSN) reverse circulation (RC) drilling at its 75%-owned Livingstone Gold Project in WA has returned high-grade assay results of up to 17 metres at 3.07 g/t from the Homestead prospect.

Nexus Minerals completes sale of Triumph Gold Project to Gibb River Diamonds

Nexus Minerals Ltd (ASX:NXM) (FRA:YAK) has completed the tenement sale of its Triumph Gold Project to Gibb River Diamonds Ltd (ASX:GIB) (FRA:PHO)

Emmerson Resources begins diamond drilling for high-grade gold at Mauretania within Tennant Creek Project

Emmerson Resources Ltd (ASX:ERM) (FRA:42E) has started a new 1,300-metre diamond drilling program at the high-grade Mauretania gold discovery within Tennant Creek JV Project in the Northern Territory.

Piedmont Lithium launches definitive feasibility study for US concentrate operations

Piedmont Lithium Ltd (ASX:PLL) (NASDAQ:PLL) has awarded the definitive feasibility study for its planned spodumene concentrate operations in North Carolina, USA, to a combined team including Primero Group and Marshall Miller & Associates.

Creso Pharma receives three new purchase orders from Europe for its anibidiol line of animal health products

Creso Pharma Limited (ASX:CPH) (OTCMKTS:COPHF) (FRA:1X8) has received three new purchase orders for its anibidiol® line of animal health products totalling CHF277,000 (A$414,000).

MGC Pharmaceuticals progresses sale of nutraceuticals subsidiary to US-based Onassis Holdings Corp

MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX:MXC) (OTCMKTS:MGCLF) (FRA:H5O) has progressed the sale of its subsidiary MGC Nutraceuticals to Onassis Holdings Corp (OTCMKTS:ONSS) following the signing of a binding acquisition and exclusive CBD supply agreement on June 18, 2020.

Zelira Therapeutics partners with SprinJene to launch first over-the-counter CBD toothpaste in the US

Zelira Therapeutics Ltd (ASX:ZLD) (OTCQB:ZLDAF) (FRA:G1G), in partnership with SprinJene®, a leader in natural oral care products, has launched its first over-the-counter (OTC) proprietary CBD toothpaste in the US.

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