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S&P/ASX 200 slips for a third straight day as tech stocks continue to drag

Brent crude oil prices have gained 0.8% to US$57.05, having risen 1.7% in the previous session.

Buru Energy Ltd - S&P/ASX 200
Spot gold price increased 0.1% to US$1,856.86 per ounce.

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) was below the flatline by about 2 pm, trading 0.012% lower at 6678 points.

While the index has declined so far this week, it is still up by ~1.4% over the first eight trading days of 2021.

The ASX 200 technology sector was a major drag, declining 1.14% and falling for the third straight session with Altium (ASX:ALU), Afterpay (ASX:APT), and Xero (ASX:XRO) leading the fall.

COVID-19 update

Biotechnology giant CSL Limited's (ASX:CSL) plan to make 50 million doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine has not changed despite calls from scientists to pause the rollout of the product in Australia.

Experts have warned against relying on the AstraZeneca vaccine in Australia, because it was not yet known if the product was effective enough to ensure herd immunity.

New South Wales chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant is estimating at least another month of mopping up the state's current clusters.

The state is still dealing with a handful of cases from the northern beaches and the Berala cluster every day.

Dr Chant said health authorities were looking at "at least three, maybe four weeks" of cleaning up NSW's community transmission.

Top gainers

Today’s top gainers on the ASX include Buru Energy Limited (ASX:BRU) (+14.81%), YPB Group Ltd (ASX:YPB) (+50.00%), AVZ Minerals Ltd (ASX:AVZ) (+9.76%), PNX Metals Ltd (ASX:PNX) (+16.67%), Anson Resources Ltd (ASX:ASN) (+19.44%), Auroch Minerals Ltd (ASX:AOU) (+12.12%) and Mako Gold Ltd (ASX:MKG) (+14.29%).

Proactive news headlines:

Comet Resources confirms up to 4.6% copper and 4% zinc at Barraba Project

Comet Resources Limited (ASX:CRL) has enhanced the prospectivity of its Barraba Copper Project in northern New South Wales with results of up to 4.6% copper, 4.0% zinc and 0.7% cobalt.

AVZ Minerals testing confirms primary lithium sulphate is suitable for battery production feedstock

AVZ Minerals Ltd's (ASX:AVZ) (OTCMKTS:AZZVF) (FRA:3A2) preliminary metallurgical testing has confirmed that the lithium sourced from its Manono Lithium and Tin Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo is suitable for battery production feedstock.

Golden Rim Resources completes first stage of Kada Gold Project acquisition

Golden Rim Resources Ltd (ASX:GMR) has completed the acquisition of an initial 25% interest in the Kada Gold Project in Guinea and can earn up to 75% interest in the project.

Mako Gold records high-grade gold at Tchaga Prospect of 41 metres at 4.51 g/t

Mako Gold Ltd (ASX:MKG) has delivered the widest, high-grade gold intercepts to date from Tchaga prospect within the flagship Napié Project in Côte d’Ivoire including 41 metres at 4.51 g/t from 17 metres.

Maximus Resources hits 32 metres at 3.2 g/t gold at S5 Prospect near historic high-grade Wattle Dam mine

Maximus Resources Ltd’s (ASX:MXR) (FRA:M5F) reverse drilling campaign at its S5 Prospect, 300 metres south of the historic high-grade Wattle Dam Gold Mine, in Western Australia’s premier gold and nickel mining district, has intersected high-grade gold.

Core Lithium higher on being granted mineral lease for BP33 lithium deposit by NT Government

Core Lithium Ltd (ASX:CXO) is trading higher on being granted a mineral lease (ML) for the BP33 lithium deposit within the Finniss Project near Darwin – the second lithium mineral lease in the Northern Territory awarded to the company after the Grants deposit mineral lease in 2019.

Musgrave Minerals closes share purchase plan early after exceeding $2 million target

Musgrave Minerals Ltd (ASX:MGV) (OTCMKTS:MGVMF) (FRA:6MU) has closed its share purchase plan (SPP) early after it exceeded the targeted amount of $2 million, with subscriptions received to date in excess of $3.2 million, subject to final reconciliation.

Iron Road has green manufacturing master plan for Cape Hardy port precinct

Iron Road Ltd (ASX:IRD) (OTCMKTS:IRNRF) is encouraged with the start of work on master planning for a green manufacturing precinct at Cape Hardy in South Australia integrating a ‘green pellet’ plant fuelled by renewable energy and using high-grade iron concentrate from the company’s Central Eyre Iron Project (CEIP).

Tempus Resources increasing American market focus in line with leadership changes

Tempus Resources Ltd (ASX:TMR) (CVE:TMRR) is an exploration company established in 2018 and primarily focused on exploring and developing gold opportunities in the Americas.

Brookside Energy has ‘cracking’ 2021 start with Orion Project JV Thelma Well brought to production and acreage expanded

Brookside Energy Ltd’s (ASX:BRK) Orion Project joint venture with Stonehorse Energy Ltd (ASX:SHE) has successfully brought on to production the Thelma 12-1 Well in Murray County, Oklahoma, with an initial production rate of 130 barrels of oil per day (bopd).

Chalice Mining Ltd shares skyrocketed in 2020 – here’s why

Chalice Mining Ltd (ASX:CHN) (OTCQB:CGMLF) was one of the ASX’s most successful companies in 2020 – its shares rose as much as 1,671 per cent across the year, and have ticked even higher less than a fortnight into 2021.

Nanollose and Grasim Industries (Birla Cellulose) file joint patent application for innovative tree-free fibre technology

Nanollose Ltd (ASX:NC6) has filed a joint patent application with Grasim Industries Ltd (NSE:GRASIM) for a high tenacity lyocell fibre made from microbial cellulose.

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