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ASX 200 lunch time report: ANZ, CBA, & South32 push higher

At lunch on Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has continued its solid run and is up over 0.3% to 5,854.8 points thanks to gains in the financial and energy sectors.

Here’s what has been happening on the ASX 200 so far today:

Bank shares push higher again.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB), and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) shares are all up around 0.5% at lunch on Thursday. A couple of strong results from U.S. banks overnight may have boosted investor sentiment.

Miners are mixed.

The South32 Ltd (ASX: S32) share price is 2.5% higher following the release of a strong quarterly update from the diversified miner. Elsewhere, the Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC) share price is up over 4% following the release of its update. Lithium miner Orocobre Limited (ASX: ORE) also released its quarterly update this morning, but that hasn’t gone down as well. A drop in lithium prices has led to its shares edging lower. The BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) share price is flat.

Corporate Travel Management shares push higher.

The Corporate Travel Management Ltd (ASX: CTD) share price is up 3% at lunch. Today’s gain appears to be in response to a broker note out of UBS this morning. According to the note, the broker has upgraded its shares to a buy rating with a $31.20 price target following a sharp share price decline over the last few months.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 at lunch is the Whitehaven Coal share price with its 4% gain. Not far behind is the Alumina Limited (ASX: AWC) share price which is 3.5% higher. The catalyst for this is likely to be South32 reporting solid increases in alumina prices in its first half update. Going the other way is the Western Areas Ltd (ASX: WSA) share price which has fallen almost 3.5%. Concerns over nickel prices appear to be behind the selling.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Corporate Travel Management Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of National Australia Bank 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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