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S&P/ASX 200 extends gains after Joe Biden unveils US$1.9 trillion US stimulus plan

Brent crude oil prices edged 0.5% higher to US$56.32 a barrel on Thursday, boosted by a weak dollar and bullish signals from Chinese import data.

Lithium Australia NL - S&P/ASX 200
Spot gold rose 0.2% to US$1,850.36 per ounce after U.S. President-elect Joe Biden unveiled a massive stimulus plan.

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) is rising for a third straight day, with the index up 0.31% to 6,736 points by about 1.50 pm.

The market opened after news broke that Joe Biden intends to ask Congress to spend an additional US$1.9 trillion on an economic rescue plan.

This will include new direct payments to Americans, aid for state and local governments and more funding to deal with COVID-19.

Biden's rescue plan follows the US$3 trillion package at the start of the pandemic and US$900 billion in support passed last month.

Locally, BHP Group (ASX:BHP), Afterpay (ASX:APT), the big banks and energy stocks were making strong gains.

COVID-19 update

Queensland recorded three new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, two in hotel quarantine and a historical case from Cairns.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was not “worried” about the latest cases and all 129 people who were transferred from the ill-fated Hotel Grand Chancellor have tested negative.

At least 3,922 new COVID-19 deaths and 230,476 new cases were reported in the US on Wednesday according to a New York Times database.

More than 4,400 deaths were announced in the US on Tuesday, a record. The country is quickly approaching 400,000 total deaths.

Top gainers

Today’s top gainers on the ASX include Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT) (+18.99%), Northern Minerals Ltd (ASX:NTU) (+12.50%), Piedmont Lithium Ltd (ASX:PLL) (+16.67%), Strategic Elements Ltd (ASX:SOR) (+17.89%), Arafura Resources Limited (ASX:ARU) (+15.00%), CardieX Ltd (ASX:CDX) (+23.29%) and Tyranna Resources Ltd (ASX:TYX) (+14.29%).

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