ASX 200 lunch time report: ANZ, CBA, & InvoCare lower

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has started the week on a disappointing note. At lunch the index is down 0.5% to 6,173.6 points.

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

Bank shares sink lower.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), and the rest of the big four banks have sunk lower on Monday. ANZ and CBA have been the worst performers in the group with declines of 0.3%.

Appen acquisition and capital raising.

The Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) share price is in a trading halt today as it undertakes a fully underwritten placement of A$285 million at an offer price of A$21.50 per new Appen share. These funds will be used to acquire San Francisco-based Figure Eight Technologies. Figure Eight is a best in class machine learning software platform which uses highly automated annotation tools to transform unstructured text, image, audio and video data into customised high quality artificial intelligence training data.

Gold miners surge higher.

Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) and Resolute Mining Limited (ASX: RSG) shares have surged higher on Monday after the gold price finished the week on a high. The spot gold price rose 1% to US$1,298.60 an ounce after the U.S. dollar weakened following the release of disappointing employment data.

InvoCare shares return to trade.

The InvoCare Limited (ASX: IVC) share price has returned from its trading halt and dropped 3.5%. The funeral company’s shares were placed in a trading halt last week whilst it sought to raise $85 million through a capital raising. The institutional placement was well supported and raised approximately $65 million at a price of $14.00 per share, representing a 2.4% discount to the last close price. A further $20 million will now be raised by a share purchase plan.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 at lunch is the Perpetual Limited (ASX: PPT) share price which is up 6% despite there being no news out of the fund manager. Going the other way is the Bingo Industries Ltd (ASX: BIN) share price which has fallen 5%. Some investors may be taking profit after a strong share price rally over the last few weeks.

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