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ASX 200 lunch time report: Afterpay higher, ANZ & National Storage lower

At lunch on Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 index has followed the lead of international markets and is down 0.15% to 6,649 points.

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

Bank shares lower.

Australia’s big four banks are all trading lower on Wednesday and acting as a major drag on the market. This decline could have been caused by comments out of Fletcher Building Limited (ASX: FBU) at its investor day. Its CEO has dismissed an Australian housing market rebound in the near future. The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) share price is down 0.8% at lunch.

Afterpay defers its share purchase plan.

The Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (ASX: APT) share price has pushed 4.5% higher after providing an update on its AUSTRAC audit activities and announcing the postponement of its share purchase plan. In respect to the latter, the release explains that “the Afterpay Board has determined that it would be in the interests of shareholders to defer the SPP until the Company has considered the final audit report and its recommendations.”

DEXUS announces property valuation increase.

The DEXUS Property Group (ASX: DXS) share price has dropped 1% lower today despite announcing an increase in the book value of its portfolio. According to the release, the external independent valuations have resulted in a total estimated $250 million or ~1.6% increase in book value for the six months to June 30 2019. As a result, Dexus’s net tangible asset backing (NTA) per security is expected to increase by 23 cents.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 at lunch is the Sandfire Resources NL (ASX: SFR) share price with a gain of 5.5%. The copper miner’s shares fell heavily yesterday after announcing the acquisition of MOD Resources Ltd (ASX: MOD). Going the other way is the National Storage REIT (ASX: NSR) share price which has tumbled 3% lower after returning from its trading halt. The self-storage giant is raising funds to fuel its growth through acquisition strategy.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended National Storage REIT. 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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