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ASX 200 lunch time report: Challenger, St Barbara, & Westpac higher

The S&P/ASX 200 index has bounced back from a heavy decline this morning and is trading just 0.15% lower at 6,579.9 points at lunch.

Here’s what has happened on the market today:

Challenger shares race higher.

The Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF) share price has raced 7.5% higher after the market responded positively to the annuities company’s full year results and guidance. In FY 2019 Challenger reported normalised net profit before tax of $548 million. This was an increase of $1 million on FY 2018’s result and means the company achieved the bottom end of its updated guidance range of $545 million to $565 million. It held firm with its previously announced FY 2020 guidance.

Bank shares mixed.  

Australia’s big four banks are trading mixed on the market today. Two of the big banks are trading lower and two are trading higher at lunch. The worst performer in the group is the National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) share price with a decline of 0.1%, whereas Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) shares are leading the way with a 0.7% gain.

Gold miners race higher.

It has been a positive day of trade for Australia’s leading gold miners. The likes of Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) and St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) are on the rise today after the gold price stormed higher overnight. At the time of writing the S&P/ASX All Ords Gold index has pushed 0.8% higher.

Magellan result and capital raising.

The Magellan Financial Group Ltd (ASX: MFG) share price was placed in a trading halt on Tuesday after the fund manager announced a $275 million capital raising along with the release of its full year results. In FY 2019 Magellan posted a 35% increase in adjusted net profit after tax to $364.2 million, smashing the analyst consensus estimate for a net profit after tax of $338.7 million. Magellan also announced the launch of the Magellan High Conviction Trust.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the S&P/ASX 200 index on Tuesday has been the Challenger share price with a gain of 7.5%. Investors appear to be pleased to see that its performance has stabilised since its last update. Going the other way, the worst performer has been the Orocobre Limited (ASX: ORE) share price with a decline of over 5%. This is the second heavy decline in a row for the lithium miner and means it has now given back the majority of last week’s gains.

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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 and has recommended Challenger Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of National Australia Bank Limited. 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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