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S&P/ASX 200 breaks above 6,800 for the first time since late February 2020

Brent crude oil price gained 40 cents to US$56.30 a barrel on expectations that U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration will deliver a massive stimulus spending that will lift fuel demand.

Archer Materials Ltd - S&P/ASX 200
Australia’s unemployment rate came in at 6.6% in December.

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) is rising for a third consecutive day with the index 0.68% higher at 6,816 points by 1.51 pm and breaking above the 6,800 point mark for the first time since late February 2020.

This followed a positive lead from Wall Street where the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit all-time highs on Wednesday after the inauguration of Joe Biden as 46th President of the United States.

Locally, the gains have been broad-based with most sectors higher. Technology stocks were the biggest gainers rising 2.62% with financials, consumer discretionary and staples also among the big improvers.

Afterpay (ASX:APT) continued its record-breaking rise with the buy-now-pay-later provider hitting a new all-time high of $149.20 earlier today, making it the fourth record high in the past five sessions.

Unemployment rate drops

Australia’s unemployment rate came in at 6.6% in December, according to seasonally adjusted estimates released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

That compared against expectations for a 6.7% reading in a Reuters poll and November’s unemployment rate of 6.8%.

Top gainers

Today’s top gainers on the ASX include Archer Materials Ltd (ASX:AXE) (+15.23%), Alta Zinc Ltd (ASX:AZI) (+20.00%), Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd (ASX:COB) (+13.51%), Elementos Limited (ASX:ELT) (+22.22%), Cirralto Ltd (ASX:CRO) (+15.15%), Astro Resources N.L. (ASX:ARO) (+25.00%) and Comet Resources Limited (ASX:CRL) (+10.00%).

Proactive news headlines:

Bardoc Gold wide intersections point to growth in gold resources at Zorastrian and Excelsior

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Artemis Resources buoyed by assays from Carlow Castle Gold-Copper-Cobalt Project

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Cipherpoint to buy cyber-security services platform Brace168

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Tempest Minerals gears up for drilling at Messenger Project next month

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Rimfire Pacific starts diamond core drilling at Sorpresa Development Project earn-in with GPR

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Westar Resources confirms gold potential of high priority targets at Coolaloo ahead of maiden drilling

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Australian Potash Lake Wells Gold JV partner St Barbara confirms potential for large gold deposit

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Chase Mining share placement to fund exploration at Canadian projects

Chase Mining Corporation Ltd (ASX:CML) has received firm commitments to raise around A$821,000 through a placement to sophisticated investors and directors at A$0.016 per share.

Mako Gold increases Côte d’lvoire footprint on grant of Ouangolodougou Permit near Barrick’s Tongon mine

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Torrens Mining confirms prospective gold structures at Mt Piper in central Victoria

Torrens Mining Ltd’s (ASX:TRN) reprocessing and re-interpretation of historic geophysical data has shown the potential for known gold mineralising structures to extend into the Mt Piper Gold Project in central Victoria.

Lithium Australia granted key European patent for VSPC nano-powder production

Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT) (FRA:3MW) (OTCMKTS:LMMFF) subsidiary VSPC Ltd has been granted a patent by the European Patent Officer for its process of producing nanostructured metal-oxide products simply and efficiently.

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