S&P/ASX 200 finishes flat as Melbourne gets locked down for six weeks

S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) wiped out its early gains to close 0.028% lower at 6013 as Melbourne was be placed into lockdown for the next six weeks as the city struggles to deal with its COVID-19 outbreak.

Residents will only be allowed to leave their home for work or study, to shop for essential items, to exercise, to receive medical care or provide care to a relative.

Gains from mining stocks helped minimise the damage today, with Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) rising 6.3%, BHP Group Ltd (ASX:BHP) gaining 1.26% and Newcrest (ASX:NCM) up 2.57%.

Gold miner St Barbara Mines (ASX:SBM) jumped 10% per cent following the release of its quarterly update.

At its meeting today, the Board decided to maintain the current policy settings, including the targets for the cash rate and the yield on 3-year Australian Government bonds of 25 basis points –

— RBA (@RBAInfo) July 7, 2020

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) kept cash rate at 0.25% amid signs shoppers are spending more on groceries even though Australias services sector is in recession territory.

The RBA governor warned that the outlook remains uncertain and the recovery is expected to be bumpy and will depend upon containment of the coronavirus.

Analysts expect the number of business insolvencies to increase as the end of JobKeeper fast approaches.

Top gainers

Todays top gainers on the ASX include Peel Mining Ltd (ASX:PEX) (+8.11%), Ironbark Zinc Limited (ASX:IBG) (+11.11%), Aeris Resources Ltd (ASX:AIS) (+10.26%), Bryah Resources Ltd (ASX:BYH) (+9.09%) and Great Boulder Resources Ltd (ASX:GBR) (+12.12%).

Proactive news headlines:

VIP Gloves set to benefit from strong outlook for glove market as outlined in new research report

VIP Gloves Ltd (ASX:VIP) looks set to benefit from strong glove market fundamentals with glove demand expected to remain robust driven by COVID-19, the upcoming US flu season and the discovery of a new swine flu strain in China, according to Macquarie Research The research bank expects strong earnings growth to continue for glove manufacturers in 2021, which may cause a further re-rating of the sector.

Tietto Minerals price target lifted by Hartleys; highlights potential for 3-million-ounce gold resource

Tietto Minerals Ltd (ASX:TIE) recently confirmed further high-grade hits from the Abujar-Gludehi (AG) deposit, part of its 2.2-million-ounce Abujar Gold Project in Côte dIvoire, with results of up to 3 metres at 17.16 g/t gold 150 metres below the existing resource. Hartleys has maintained its Speculative Buy recommendation for Tietto and has modelled the gold explorers resource growth to 3 million ounces, leading to an increase in price target to 75 cents per share from 43 cents.

Great Southern Mining has 3000-metre drilling program underway at Mon Ami Gold Project

Great Southern Mining Ltd (ASX:GSN) has begun a reverse circulation drilling campaign at its 100%-owned Mon Ami Gold Project, 12 kilometres south of Laverton, Western Australia. The program of 2,500 to 3000 metres, which is designed to expand the known 59,000-ounce mineral resource identified by GSN in 2018, will focus on the southern extent of the mineralisation along strike to the current resource.

Cipherpoint launches placement to follow oversubscribed share purchase plan

Cipherpoint Ltd (ASX:CPT) has received binding commitments for a placement of 19 million shares at 2.3 cents per share to raise an additional $437,000 following a heavily oversubscribed share purchase plan (SPP).

Auteco Minerals higher on landing firm commitments for $30.4 million placement to accelerate gold exploration

Auteco Minerals Ltd (ASX:AUT) is trading higher after receiving firm commitments to raise around $30.4 million in a placement with funds to accelerate exploration at the flagship Pickle Crow Gold project in Ontario, Canada. Shares are up more than 26% to 19 cents, which represents a new 12-year high.

Bellevue Gold notches up maiden indicated gold resource of 860,000 ounces at 11.6 g/t

Bellevue Gold Ltd (ASX:BGL) (OTCMKTS:BELGF) has taken a key step in its transition from gold explorer to developer with a maiden indicated resource for its namesake project of 860,000 ounces at 11.6 g/t gold. This resource, which has been independently estimated by a leading consultant, includes a high-grade core of 480,000 ounces at 15.5 g/t at the Viago and Deacon lodes which remain open in all directions.

Metro Mining tops quarterly guidance after achieving record shipping in June

Metro Mining Ltd (ASX:MMIRead More – Source