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Rio lower ahead of Juukan Gorge finding

The S&P 500 reached a fresh record high intraday before closing down 0.79%, amid little progress on US stimulus measures and Brexit negotiations.
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The location of the Juukan Gorge caves in relation to Rio Tinto’s Brockman 4 iron ore mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara, pictured in November 2019

Staff reporter

Futures were pointing to an upbeat start in the US but lower elsewhere.

In the UK, which started rolling out the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this week, authorities are now advising people with a significant history of allergic reactions to avoid the vaccination after two people responded "adversely" yesterday, but were recovering well.

The gold price sank below US$1,830 an ounce earlier but was around $1,839/oz at the time of writing.

Rio Tinto closed 1.38% lower in London ahead of today's release of an interim report by an Australian parliamentary committee into the miner's destruction of significant rockshelters at Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara.

Rio has repeated its apology and chairman Simon Thompson said Rio was committed to learning from the event to ensure the destruction of heritage sites of such exceptional archaeological and cultural significance "never occurs again".

Fellow London-listed miners Fresnillo and Anglo American also closed lower yesterday, by 1.8% and 1.4% respectively.

The metals and mining sector closed down in Toronto, where Barrick Gold lost 2.3%.