It’s Thursday and it feels like we’re winding back the clock.

Both NSW and Victoria are now counting their Covid outbreaks in the hundreds again; NSW, on a daily basis.

Gladys chalked up 124 new locally acquired cases, while Dan added 24 news cases to Victoria’s running tally of 133.

The South Australian cluster is now at 14 after another two cases from the Tenafeate Creek Winery “super-spreader” event joined the party.

It’s looking more likely to be a race to full vaccination rather than zero cases.

Australia is about to pass 3 million fully vaccinated, and has hit a run-rate of more than a million jabs a week. Some 13 million Aussies are now back in lockdo-… HEY LOOK THE OLYMPICS!

Arguing about spending on sport has become a national, well, sport since the Sydney Olympics. Expect that to level up by several thousand magnitudes now we have Twitface and Tokstagram to fuel the fire for the next 11 years.

Hopefully by that time we’ll have sorted out whether “the economic legacy of Sydney’s Olympics is still taking shape” (Fairfax, September, 2020) or not.

Markets took shape today, despite the Covid spread. The S&P/ASX200 gained 66.40 points or 0.91% to 7,375.10 in morning trade and is crossing above its 20-day moving average.

It’s gained 0.53% over the past five days and is currently 0.42% off its 52-week high.

Oil popped more than 5% overnight, and there’s not really any immediate reason why. That’s interesting.

Oh, and Elon Musk put Bitcoin back on the table, while Jack Dorsey continued his mesmerising transmogrification into The Mandarin.

WINNERS

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Peak Resources’ (ASX:PEK) Ngualla rare earths project got the ‘green stamp’ for development by the cabinet of the Tanzanian Government.

That paves the way for financing, off-take and development, with construction at Ngualla targeted to kick off by the end of September 2022.

Managing director Bardin Davis reckosn that “will position Ngualla among the most advanced rare earth development projects”.

Proteomics (ASX:PIQ) led the healthcares sector, rising by 10% after announcing that it has engaged global life science company Abcam (Nasdaq:ABCM) to manufacture reagents for the immunoassay version of its PromarkerD predictive blood test.

And Piedmont Lithium’s (ASX:PLL) detractors pretty much gave the company’s new investors a massive buy-in opportunity yesterday when they criticised the company’s community consultation for its massive North Carolina operations yesterday.

After dropping 20pc yesterday, PLL addressed the concerns with the ASX, and has clawed back 14pc today.

 

LOSERS

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