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ASX 200 lunch time report: CBA higher, Caltex & Rio Tinto lower

The S&P/ASX 200 index has fought back from an earlier decline and has pushed higher at lunch on Thursday. At the time of writing the index is up 0.2% to 6,663.6 points.

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

Bank shares higher.

Three of the big four banks have continued their positive form and are higher at lunch. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) share price even managed to climb to a new multi-year high this morning. The Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price is the exception and is 0.1% lower at lunch.

Rio Tinto sinks lower.

The Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) share price has sunk 4.5% lower after the mining giant downgraded its iron ore shipments guidance from its Pilbara operations. Rio Tinto revealed that it is currently experiencing mine operational challenges, particularly in the Greater Brockman hub in the Pilbara.

Caltex crashes lower.

It has been a very disappointing day of trade for the Caltex Australia Limited (ASX: CTX) share price. The fuel retailer’s shares are down almost 19% at lunch after warning that challenging trading conditions would lead to a sharp decline in first half profits. Caltex expects its first half replacement cost net operating profit to come in between $120 million to $140 million, compared to $296 million in the prior corresponding period.

Gold miners charge higher.

Australia’s gold miners have been some of the best performers on the local market on Thursday after the gold price surged higher overnight. The catalyst for this was the U.S. Federal Reserve conceding that a rate cut may be necessary in the near term. The S&P/ASX All Ords Gold index is up an impressive 3.6% at lunch.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the benchmark index on Thursday has been the Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) share price which has charged 6% higher thanks to the rise in the gold price. Going the other way is of course the Caltex share price which has crashed 19% lower following its disappointing first half guidance update.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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