Motley Fool Australia

ASX 200 lunch time report: Appen, Syrah, & Westpac higher

beat the share market

At lunch on Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 index has continued its solid run and climbed a further 0.6% to 6,278.6 points.

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

Bank shares edge higher.

It has been positive day of trade for the majority of Australia’s biggest banks. At lunch three of the big four are pushing higher, with Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) shares leading the way with a 0.4% gain. National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) shares are the exception and down 0.4% at lunch.

Appen completes Figure Eight acquisition.

The Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) share price is up 4% at lunch after the market darling announced the completion of the US$175 million acquisition of Figure Eight Technologies. The best in class machine learning software platform provider is expected to materially increase the quality of Appen’s revenues and the breadth of its customer base.

Eclipx-McMillan Shakespeare merger terminated.

The Eclipx Group Ltd (ASX: ECX) share price is down 3% at lunch after McMillan Shakespeare Limited (ASX: MMS) announced that the two parties have agreed to terminate the Scheme Implementation Agreement (SIA) with immediate effect. Eclipx has agreed to reimburse McMillan Shakespeare for the $8 million costs incurred to date in relation to the SIA and proposed scheme.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 at lunch is the Syrah Resources Ltd (ASX: SYR) share price with a gain of 6%. With no news out of the graphite miner, I wouldn’t be surprised if this has been driven by short sellers buying back shares to close positions. The worst performer on the ASX 200 at lunch is the Smartgroup Corporation Ltd (ASX: SIQ) share price with a 9% decline. Its shares have crashed lower after managing director and CEO, Deven Billimoria, announced the sale of 1.1 million shares through an on-market trade on Tuesday. Mr Billimoria received $8.36 million for the shares.

Where to invest $1,000 right now

When investing expert Scott Phillips has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the flagship Motley Fool Share Advisor newsletter he has run for more than eight years has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.*

Scott just revealed what he believes are the five best ASX stocks for investors to buy right now. These stocks are trading at dirt-cheap prices and Scott thinks they are great buys right now.

*Returns as of June 30th

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Appen Ltd and 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.

Related Articles…