ASX 200 lunch time report: Afterpay, ANZ, & Bellamy’s higher

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has had a strong start to the week and is up 0.7% to 6,235.8 points at lunch.

Here’s what has been happening on the local market on Monday:

Bank shares rise.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ)Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC), and the rest of the big four have pushed higher on Monday. ANZ and Westpac shares are leading the way with gains of approximately 0.5%.

Tech shares charge higher.

Strong gains are being made in the tech sector today following a positive performance on the Nasdaq index on Friday. Highlights include the Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (ASX: APT) share price which is up 7% and the Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) share price which has risen 3%.

Nufarm storms higher.

The Nufarm Limited (ASX: NUF) share price has been a big mover on Monday and is up 7% at lunch. The crop protection and specialist seeds company’s shares were up as much as 10.5% at one stage this morning. The catalyst for this gain appears to have been a broker note out of Deutsche Bank. According to the note, the broker has upgraded its shares to a buy rating with a $6.00 price target largely on valuation grounds.

Gold miners sink lower.

The gold miners have tumbled lower on Monday. At lunch the Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) share price and the St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) share price are both down over 4% after a sharp decline in the gold price. The S&P/ASX All Ords Gold index is down 3.2% at the time of writing.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 at lunch is the Bellamy’s Australia Ltd (ASX: BAL) share price with a gain of 8.5%. Investors appear to be looking beyond its weak half year result and focusing more on its long term growth prospects. Going the other way are the gold miners, closely followed by the Lynas Corporation Ltd (ASX: LYC) share price which is down 3.5% at lunch. This decline leaves the rare earths producer’s shares trading within sight of their 52-week low.

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