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Friday’s ASX 200 lunch time report

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) is on course to finish the week on a disappointing note.

At lunch the ASX 200 is down 1.2% to 5,593.4 points with all sectors currently in the red.

Here’s what’s been happening on the ASX 200 on Friday:

Tech shares are being sold off.

One of the major drags on the index so far on Friday has been the information technology sector. At lunch the Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (ASX: APT) share price is down 6.5% and the WiseTech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC) share price is off 3%. This has led to the sector falling 2%.

Banks weigh heavily on the market.

Another drag on the market on Friday has been the banking sector. The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) share price is leading the way with a 2.4% decline, putting it close to its 52-week low. Not far behind is the Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price which is down 2.2% at lunch.

Sigma shares rocket on merger approach.

The Sigma Healthcare Ltd (ASX: SIG) share price has defied the market decline and rocketed 50% higher to 61 cents after rival Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ASX: API) made a merger proposal. Australian Pharmaceutical Industries has made a scrip and cash offer equating to approximately 68.6 cents per share. Australian Pharmaceutical Industries shares are up 6.5% on the news.

TPG Telecom shares continues to slide.

The TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPM) share price has fallen a further 2% on Friday. The telco company’s shares have come under significant pressure since the ACCC voiced concerns over its merger with Vodafone Australia. This morning Morgans downgraded its shares to a hold rating and cut the price target on them to $6.65 due to the uncertainty.

Best and worst performers.

Sigma Healthcare is far and away the best performer on the ASX 200 today with its 50% gain. Energy company Infigen Energy Ltd (ASX: IFN) is the next best performer with a 12% rise. Going the other way is the Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd (ASX: NEC) share price which has dropped 9%. The Nine share price has tumbled despite news that it has been added to the ASX 100 by S&P.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO and WiseTech Global. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended TPG Telecom Limited. 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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