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S&P/ASX 200 slips 0.29% as banks and miners drag

Brent crude oil prices fell on Thursday after industry data showed an increase in U.S. crude inventories that revived pandemic-related fuel demand concerns.

Alta Zinc Ltd - S&P/ASX 200
Gold prices eased 0.2% to US$1,867.56 per ounce from a two-week high on Thursday as investors booked some profit.

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) slipped 0.29% to 6,804 points around 1.45 pm as the banks and miners pulled lower but remains near its 11-month highs.

Australian retail turnover fell 4.2% in December 2020 compared to the previous month, seasonally adjusted, according to preliminary retail trade figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

However, turnover rose 9.4% compared to December 2019.

Google Australia may disable search

Google said it will stop making its search function available in Australia if the Parliament passes the proposed laws to force it and Facebook to pay for news businesses for their journalism.

Google Australia managing director Mel Silva told a Senate hearing that the proposed news media bargaining code remained "unworkable".

Ms Silva said: "If this version of the code were to become law, it would give us no real choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia.

Top gainers

Today’s top gainers on the ASX include Alta Zinc Ltd (ASX:AZI) (+20.00%), Northern Minerals Ltd (ASX:NTU) (+16.07%), Fe Limited (ASX:FEL) (+9.80%), Elementos Limited (ASX:ELT) (+9.09%), Southern Gold Limited (ASX:SAU) (+9.09%), Arrow Minerals Ltd (ASX:AMD) (+11.11%) and Emyria Ltd (ASX:EMD) (+12.50%).

Proactive news headlines:

Australian Potash confirms resolution of EPA approval appeal for Lake Wells Sulphate of Potash Project

Australian Potash Ltd (ASX:APC) has received notification by the Office of the Appeals Convenor that the WA Minister for the Environment has issued an appeal determination against the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) board’s recommendation that the Lake Wells Sulphate of Potash Project be approved for development.

Nelson raises $2 Million via placement to advance its exploration projects

Nelson Resources Ltd (ASX:NES) has accepted binding commitments for a placement of 28,700,535 new shares at an issue price of 7.5 cents per share to raise $2.15 million for advancing its exploration projects.

Engage:BDR ends 2020 strongly, with connected TV to be primary focus in 2021

engage:BDR Ltd (ASX:EN1) has ended 2020 strongly, completing a heavily oversubscribed shareholder purchase plan (SPP) in conjunction with a placement, which raised $3,243,275, allowing the company to retire outstanding payments owed to service & inventory providers that accrued during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jindalee Resources completes an exploration target range at its Lyon River magnesite deposit

Jindalee Resources Limited (ASX:JRL) has completed an exploration target range (ETR) at its Lyon River magnesite deposit as part of its 100& owned greater Prospect Ridge Project.

Technology Metals Australia launches into "transformative" 2021 with Yarrabubba Iron-Vanadium drilling underway

Technology Metals Australia Ltd (ASX:TMT) (FRA:TN6) has resumed drilling at the Yarrabubba Iron Vanadium Project in Western Australia, with a second drill rig starting on January 11.

Blackstone Minerals signs non-binding Letter of Interest with Trafigura for potential supply of nickel and cobalt products for downstream production in Vietnam

Blackstone Minerals Ltd (ASX:BSX) (OTCMKTS:BLSTF) (FRA:B9S) has signed a non-binding letter of interest with Trafigura Pte Ltd for the potential supply of nickel and cobalt products for the production of downstream products for the lithium-ion battery industry at the Ta Khoa Nickel Project in Vietnam.

Lithium Australia shareholders fully pay for 9.7 million LITCF shares, raising another $484,132

Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT) (OTCMKTS:LMMFF) (FRA:3MW) has raised another $484,132.84 after its shareholders fully paid the balance on a further 9,702,061 LITCF partly paid ordinary shares in the company, the latest in a series of similar transactions since mid-December 2020.

Predictive Discovery accelerates Bankan Gold Project drilling as it targets maiden JORC resource mid-2021

Predictive Discovery Ltd (ASX:PDI) is accelerating drilling at its Bankan Gold Project in Guinea, with the 25,000-metres Bankan-2 drilling program operating at full capacity as it targets a maiden JORC resource in mid-2021.

Firefinch intersects broad zones of economic mineralisation at the N’Tiola satellite deposit within the Morila Gold Project

Firefinch Ltd’s (ASX:FFX) (FRA:N9F) infill and extensional drilling at the N’Tiola Deposit within the Morila Gold Project has intersected broad zones of economic mineralisation.

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