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ASX 200 lunch time report: Altium & Appen lower, Wesfarmers higher

The Australian share market has had a disappointing start to the week. At lunch the S&P/ASX 200 index has dropped 0.9% to 6,708.6 points.

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

Tech shares under pressure.

Australian tech shares including design software company Altium Limited (ASX: ALU) and logistics solutions company WiseTech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC) have followed the lead of their U.S. counterparts on Monday and tumbled lower. On Friday the technology-focused Nasdaq index dropped 1.3% amid concerns that the US-China trade war could escalate.

Wesfarmers’ Catch acquisition approved by ACCC.

The Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) share price is higher today after the ACCC approved its proposed acquisition of Catch Group. The ACCC said: “We reviewed whether Wesfarmers’ retail position could be leveraged into online sales and marketplaces in an anti-competitive way. The current growth in online marketplaces is fostering competition between providers, and feedback indicated that Wesfarmers’ proposed acquisition of Catch would be unlikely to change that level of competition.”

Bank shares mixed.

It has been a mixed start to the week for Australia’s big four banks on Monday with one heading higher and three sinking lower. The best performer in the group today has been the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) share price with a gain of 0.2%. Later this week CBA will release its full year results. The worst performer is the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) share price with a 0.7% decline.

Best and worst performers.

The Appen Limited (ASX: APX) share price is the worst performer on the benchmark index on Monday with a decline of 4.5%. It has been caught up in the tech sell-off. Going the other way is the Ardent Leisure Group (ASX: ALG) share price which has risen over 5% despite there being no news out of the struggling entertainment company for some time.

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