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ASX 200 lunch time report: ANZ, Westpac, & Xero lower

It has been another subdued day of trade for the S&P/ASX 200 index. At lunch on Thursday the benchmark index is down 0.2% to 6,124.2 points.

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

Bank shares slide lower.

One of the biggest drags on the S&P/ASX 200 index on Thursday has been the big four banks once again. At lunch all four banks are in the red, with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) shares the worst performers with declines of 0.8% each.

ACCC will not oppose IPH’s acquisition of Xenith IP.

The IPH Ltd (ASX: IPH) share price has dropped 0.5% despite the ACCC advising that it will not oppose its proposed acquisition of fellow intellectual property services company Xenith IP Group Ltd (ASX: XIP). The competition watchdog advised that most customers it consulted “did not express concerns.”

Tech shares slide.

Australian tech shares including design software company Altium Limited (ASX: ALU) and accounting software company Xero Limited (ASX: XRO) have followed the lead of their U.S. counterparts and dropped lower today. The majority of the FAANG stocks sunk lower overnight, leading to the Nasdaq index falling 0.6%. S&P/ASX 200 Info Tech index is down 0.4% at the time of writing.

Pilbara Minerals storms higher.

The Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) share price has stormed over 4.5% higher after the lithium miner announced the declaration of commercial production at its Pilgangoora project. In addition to this, management advised that it has commenced a partnering process to interconnect uncommitted Stage 3 Pilgangoora offtake and is considering the sale of a minority interest of between 20% to 49% in its project.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 at lunch is the Pilbara Minerals share price with its 4.5% gain. Not far behind is the Pact Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: PGH) share price which has surged higher after announcing that its new CEO will be Mr Sanjay Dayal. He will join the company next week from BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX: BSL), where he held the position of Chief Executive, Building Products, Corporate Strategy and Innovation. Going the other way is the Eclipx Group Ltd (ASX: ECX) share price which is down 6.5%. Its shares rocketed higher yesterday, so profit taking may be weighing on them today.

Instead of Eclipx, I would look at these top growth shares that have been tipped as potential market beaters.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended IPH Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Altium and Xero. 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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