S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) surged 1.42% to 6087 at 12.30 pm after the JobKeeper wage subsidy program was extended until March next year.
The payments will fall from $1,500 to $1,200 a fortnight after September. People working fewer than 20 hours a week will receive $750.
The wage subsidy will fall again to $1,000 a fortnight, and $650 a fortnight for people working fewer than 20 hours, for the first three months of 2021.
Gold miners shine
Gold prices hit $US1,820 ($2,597) overnight but have softened to $US1,816.33 today, or $2,586 in the local currency.
Shares in Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR) hit a seven-and-a-half-year high of $2.46 today after it reported a record 71,291 ounces of gold was produced and sold for $2,300 per ounce in the fourth quarter.
Todays top gainers on the ASX include Graphex Mining Ltd (ASX:GPX) (+105%), 9 Spokes International Ltd (ASX:9SP) (+48.28%), Volt Resources Ltd (ASX:VRC) (+11.11%), Northern Minerals Ltd (ASX:NTU) (+10.53%), Pantoro Ltd (ASX:PNR) (+17.39%) and Pure Minerals Ltd (ASX:PM1) (+23.08%).