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ASX 200 lunch time report: CBA & Lendlease higher, NIB lower

At lunch on Monday the S&P/ASX 200 index is on course to start the week with a solid gain. At the time of writing the benchmark index is up 0.8% to 6,455.8 points.

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

Bank shares rise.      

The big four banks have started the week on a positive note. At lunch all four banks are trading notably higher following strong gains by U.S. banks on Friday. The best performer in the group today has been the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) share price with a gain of 1.2%.

NIB guidance disappoints.

The NIB Holdings Limited (ASX: NHF) share price has dropped 2% lower following the release of its full year results this morning. The private health insurance company delivered a result that was largely in line with expectations, but provided soft guidance for FY 2020. Management expects the company’s underlying operating profit to be flat this year.

Lendlease surges.    

The Lendlease Group (ASX: LLC) share price is up almost 9% at lunch after the release of its full year results. Although the company reported a 41% decline in full year net profit after tax, this was a lot better than the market had expected. According to CommSec, the market expected a net profit after tax of $425 million, but it delivered a profit of $467 million.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 index at lunch is the Smartgroup Corporation Ltd (ASX: SIQ) share price with a gain of 21%. Its shares raced higher thanks to a better than expected half year profit result this morning. The worst performer on the benchmark index today has been the BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX: BSL) share price with a disappointing 9% decline. The steel producer’s shares have come under pressure after the release of weak guidance for the year ahead. Management expects its EBIT to be down 45% in the first half of FY 2020 due to weaker commodity steel spreads.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended NIB Holdings 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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