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ASX 200 rises 0.5%, gold miners glitter

ASX 200
Credit: Cimexus

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) rose by 0.5% to 5,909 points today, undoing some of the decline from yesterday.

Here are some of the biggest headlines from today:

Gold miners (mostly) glitter

Some of the best performers in the ASX 200 today were gold miners.

The Gold Road Resources Ltd (ASX: GOR) share price rose by 6.2%, the Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX: SAR) share price went up 4.6%, the Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) share price grew 3.4%, the Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) share price rose 1.8% and the St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) share price went up 2.1%.

However, there was one ASX 200 gold miner that had a tough day. The Resolute Mining Limited (ASX: RSG) share price was the worst performer today, falling 6.1%.

Last night after trading hours Resolute Mining gave a Syama update. It told the market that the Union Nationale des Travailleurs has decided to do a 10-day strike at the Syama mine in Mali unless certain demands are met. The main demand is for Syama workers to be reinstated who have been stood down on full day due to Resolute’s COVID-19 protocols.

Resolute Mining explained that it had implemented a plan to prioritise the health of employees, contractors and stakeholders. It limited the travel of non-essential workers from outside the surrounding region to the mine site to limit virus transmission between populations and maintain the mine’s solation from the virus.

The ASX 200 gold miner is considering how to respond, but it called the strike notice “irresponsible” and “opportunistic”.

Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX: CUV)

The Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals share price went up 9.2% today, it was the best performer in the ASX 200.

The company announced the progression of its drug, Scenesse, to treat the disease xeroderma pigmentosum (XP). The aim of the development program is to confirm the drug’s ability to regenerate DNA of skin exposed to ultraviolet (UV) damage.

Clinuvel is expanding its clinical research, aiming to confirm how intervention with the drug enhances elimination of photoproducts and regeneration of DNA.

The company is first treating patients with XP who have the most extreme deficiencies in their DNA repair processes, leading to a 10,000-fold increase in their risk of skin cancer.

Clinuvel’s chief scientific officer, Dr Dennis Wright, said: “After two decades of clinical research, I’m delighted that our team can now focus on the XP patients who are severely affected by UV radiation leaving them a short life expectancy. We will facilitate treatment for the first patient in the next few weeks.”

The results from the DNA repair program are expected to be reported in 2021.

Nearmap Ltd (ASX: NEA)

Nearmap went into a trading halt today as it announced a capital raising.

The ASX 200 business plans to raise a minimum of $70 million from institutional investors and a further $20 million in a share purchase plan (SPP).

The cash will be used to accelerate its growth. It will scale its investment in sales and marketing, particularly in North America. Nearmap also plans to expand its product solutions to high-value use cases. It will accelerate the roll-out of its Hypercamera3 systems, to generate expanded coverage at higher fidelity and expand into new geographical markets.

Other uses for the cash are investing in its operational systems and data to support rapid scaling. It could also pursue other growth opportunities.

Nearmap said that its pro forma cash balance at 31 August 2020 after the placement will be a minimum of $105 million.

The capital raising is being done through an institutional bookbuild with an underwritten floor price of $2.69 per new share. The underwritten floor price represents a 6.9% discount to the closing price of $2.89. The bookbuild price cap is $2.77 per share.

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Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Nearmap Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Nearmap Ltd. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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