ASX 200 lunch time report

It has been a mixed day of trade for the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) on Wednesday.

At lunch the ASX 200 is flat at 5,725.5 points after heavy declines in the materials sector offset some solid gains being made in the healthcare and information technology sectors.

Here are a few things that have been happening on the ASX 200 so far today:

AMP shares sink lower.

The AMP Limited (ASX: AMP) share price is down around 4% at lunch. On Tuesday the financial services company’s chief executive officer admitted to the Royal Commission that there is a risk that it may face another fees-for-no-service case. This morning the company revealed that the total remediation program estimate per evidence to Royal Commission on November 27 is expected to be $778 million pre-tax.

Afterpay Touch shares continue their rise.

The Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (ASX: APT) share price has been a big mover again on Wednesday. At lunch the payments company’s shares are 8% higher. News that Kim Kardashian was promoting the Afterpay service on Twitter appears to have gone down well with the market. Some investors may believe that this will give the Afterpay platform a lift ahead of the peak U.S. Christmas shopping season.

Saracen Mineral’s shares crash lower on broker downgrade.

The Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX: SAR) share price has dropped 7% lower at lunch after Macquarie downgraded the gold miner to a neutral rating from buy. The broker made the move on valuation grounds after a solid share price rally over the last couple of months.

CSR to sell glass business.

The CSR Limited (ASX: CSR) share price is higher at lunch after announcing plans to sell its Viridian Glass business to Crescent Capital Partners for a total cash consideration of approximately $155 million. This follows a board review earlier this year which established that funds employed in the Viridian business would generate better future returns for shareholders if they were invested in its core building products business.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 at lunch is the Afterpay Touch share price, closely followed by the oOh!Media Ltd (ASX: OML) share price which is 6% higher after winning a 10-year street furniture contract from Brisbane City Council. Going the other way is the Saracen Minerals share price with its 7% decline. Not far behind, though, is the Ausdrill Limited (ASX: ASL) share price which has dropped 6% lower despite there being no news out of the company.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended oOh!Media 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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