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ASX 200 lunch time report: BHP, CSL, & NAB shares higher

At lunch on Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) is on course to record another strong gain. At the time of writing the index is up 1% to 6,087.4 points.

Here’s what has been happening on the index today:

Blue chips push higher.

Improving investor sentiment has led to further gains across most sectors on Thursday. Blue chip shares such as BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP), CSL Limited (ASX: CSL), and National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) are all pushing higher at lunch.

IDP Education results impress.

The IDP Education Ltd (ASX: IEL) share price has been a star performer on Thursday and is up 19% at lunch following the release of its interim results. In the first half of FY 2019 the education services provider posted a 26% increase in total revenue to $304.3 million and a 34% lift in net profit after tax to $40.7 million. Strong growth in Asia was a key driver of its positive performance.

CYBG shares rocket.

The CYBG PLC (ASX: CYB) share price has rocketed 18% higher following the release of its first quarter trading update after the market close on Wednesday. Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank said it expects to achieve bigger than expected synergies from its merger with Virgin Money. The bank now expects at least £150 million ($273 million) in savings before the end of FY 2021, which is a 25% increase from prior estimates.

AGL Energy shares slide.

The AGL Energy Limited (ASX: AGL) share price is down 3% at lunch following the release of its half year results. The energy company posted a 53% decline in statutory profit after tax to $290 million. This reflected a negative movement in the fair value of financial instruments.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Thursday is the IDP Education share price, closely followed by CYBG shares. The next best performer is the Bellamy’s Australia Ltd (ASX: BAL) share price with a 7% gain despite there being no news out of it. Going the other way is the AGL Energy share price after its results release, with the Downer EDI Limited (ASX: DOW) share price not far behind with a decline of around 3%. Downer’s shares have dropped lower despite management reaffirming its full year guidance following a solid first half.

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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 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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