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ASX 200 lunch time report: a2 Milk, CIMIC, & Westpac lower

It has been a disappointing start to the week for the S&P/ASX 200 index. At lunch the benchmark index is down 1.1% to 6,265.7 points after President Trump announced US$525 billion of tariffs on Chinese goods.

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

Westpac results.

The Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price has dropped 2% lower following the release of its half year results. For the first half of FY 2019 Westpac reported a 22% decline in cash earnings to $3.3 billion. Despite this sizeable decline, the banking giant held firm with its interim dividend at 94 cents per share fully franked.

Magellan funds update.

The Magellan Financial Group Ltd (ASX: MFG) share price is down almost 2.5% at lunch following the release of its latest funds under management (FUM) update. During April Magellan experienced net inflows of $462 million, which comprised net retail inflows of $130 million and net institutional inflows of $332 million. This left it with total FUM of $83,232 million, up 4.8% since last month. Whilst this was an impressive increase, it wasn’t enough to offset the Trump announcement.

a2 Milk Company shares drop lower.

The A2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M) share price has come under pressure today and is down just under 2.5% at lunch. As well as concerns over President Trump’s Chinese tariffs, investors may be concerned by an announcement out of Bubs Australia Ltd (ASX: BUB) this morning which revealed that the goat milk infant formula company is branching out into organic milk infant formula. Bubs’ shares were up as much as 23% in morning trade.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 at lunch is the Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) share price with a 3.5% gain. Its shares raced higher after the spot gold price rebounded and demand for safe haven assets increased. The worst performer today by some distance is the CIMIC Group Ltd (ASX: CIM) share price which is down 8% at lunch after being targeted by a Hong Kong-based short seller. According to the SMH, GMT Research alleges that CIMIC inflated its profits and disguised its poor performance by engineering its accounts in order to boost its share price.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of A2 Milk. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended BUBS AUST FPO. 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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