S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) is flat at 6075 around 12.40 pm after confirmation of the biggest budget deficit since World War II and a continued rise in COVID-19 cases in New South Wales and Victoria.
At a special budget update today, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the budget will be in the red by $85.8 billion in 2019-20 and $184.5 billion in 2020-21, marking the biggest deficit since World War II due to drastic spending to mitigate the damage from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Frydenberg added the unemployment rate was expected to reach 9.25% in the December quarter, while real GDP would fall by 0.25% in 2019-20 and shrink 2.5% in 2020-21.
Victoria recorded 403 new COVID-19 cases and five further deaths in the last 24 hours. New South Wales has 19 new cases.
Iron ore drops but gold gains[hhmc]
The materials sector was flat with iron ore and gold miners moving in opposite directions.
BHP Group Ltd (ASX:BHP) fell 0.56%, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) dropped 1.38% and Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) shed 1.37% after iron ore prices edged lower overnight.
Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) was up 1.76% after gold topped $US1,870 an ounce and edged towards all-time highs.
Todays top gainers on the ASX include Engage:BDR Ltd (ASX:EN1) (+25.00%), Kingwest Resources Ltd (ASX:KWR) (+13.33%), Brookside Energy Ltd (ASX:BRK) (+20.00%), Domacom Australia Ltd (ASX:DCL) (11.90%) amd Whitebark Energy Ltd (ASX:WBE) (+33.33%).
Proactive news headlines:
Kingwest Resources higher after increasing gold resources at Menzies by 37% to 320,000 ounces[hhmc]
Kingwest Resources Ltd (ASX:KWR) is higher after an updated resource estimate for Lady Shenton deposit and a maiden estimate for the Stirling deposit increased overall resources at its Menzies Gold Project (MGP) by 37% to 320,000 ounces.
St George Mining encouraged by signs at Investigators as Mt Alexander diamond drilling progresses[hhmc]
St George Mining Ltds (ASX:SGQ) is encouraged by promising signs returned from ongoing diamond drilling at the Investigators prospect of its flagship Mt Alexander Nickel-Copper Sulphide Project in Western Australia.
Pharmaxis submits Investigational New Drug application for treatment of myelofibrosis[hhmc]
Pharmaxis Ltd (ASX:PXS) (OTCMKTS:PXSLY) (FRA:UUD) has submitted an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a planned phase 1/2 study of PXS-5505 for the treatment of myelofibrosis
Element 25 more than doubles target with heavily oversubscribed SPP raising $3.2 million[hhmc]
Element 25 Ltd (ASX:E25) has closed its share purchase plan (SPP) announced on July 6 heavily oversubscribed after receiving applications worth in excess of $3.2 million, more than double thRead More – Source