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ASX 200 lunch time report: IOOF, Nearmap, & Westpac higher

The S&P/ASX 200 index has continued its positive run on Thursday and is up 0.35% to 6,799.7 points at lunch.

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

Bank shares rise again.

It has been another positive day of trade for Australia’s big four banks on Thursday. At lunch all four banks are trading higher, but Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) shares are once again leading the way. Australia’s oldest bank has seen its shares rise 1.35% so far today. This has left them trading not too far away from their 52-week high.

Fortescue shares tumble lower.

The Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) share price has dropped 4.5%. This morning the iron ore producer released its fourth quarter update and appeared to deliver on expectations. In light of this, the catalyst for today’s decline could be a 2.5% decline in the spot iron ore price overnight.

IOOF funds update.

The IOOF Holdings Limited (ASX: IFL) share price has been a strong performer. At lunch the struggling financial services company’s shares are up over 7% following the release of its funds update. According to the release, the company’s funds under management, advice and administration (FUMA) reached $149.5 billion at the end of June. This was an increase of 18.7% or $23.6 billion compared to prior year. FUMA was up 5.9% or $7.5 billion when excluding the ANZ Wealth acquisition.

Tech shares charge higher.

The Australian tech sector has followed the lead of the Nasdaq index and has been on fire again on Thursday. Thanks to the likes of Nearmap Ltd (ASX: NEA) and WiseTech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC) charging notably higher, the S&P/ASX 200 Info Tech index has gained over 1%.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the benchmark index on Thursday has been the IOOF share price which is up over 7% following its FUMA update. Going the other way has been the Iluka Resources Limited (ASX: ILU) share price which has fallen heavily for the second day in a row. The mineral sands producer’s shares are down a further 7% on Thursday. Investors have been hitting the sell button after its quarterly update failed to live up to expectations.

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James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of WiseTech Global. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Nearmap Ltd. 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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