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ASX 200 lunch time report: ANZ & Appen higher, Pro Medicus sinks

At lunch on Friday the S&P/ASX 200 index is on course to finish the week on a positive note. At the time of writing the benchmark index is 0.45% higher at 6,643.3 points.

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

Bank shares charge higher again.  

The Australian banking sector is on the rise again with all of the big four banks trading notably higher at lunch. The best performer in the group for a second day in a row is the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) share price. Its shares are up 0.75% at lunch.

Westpac class action.

The Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price is pushing higher on Friday despite being hit with a class action. A claim has been filed by Slater & Gordon Limited (ASX: SGH) in the Federal Court on behalf of thousands of superannuation members who were allegedly short-changed by the bank’s super funds.

Tech shares storm higher.

One of the best performing areas of the market on Friday has been the Australian tech sector. At lunch the S&P/ASX 200 Info Tech index is up 2.6% thanks to solid gains by the likes of Altium Limited (ASX: ALU) and Appen Ltd (ASX: APX). The catalyst for this was a strong gain by the technology-focused Nasdaq index last night after the United States and China agreed to hold trade talks next month.

Gold miners sink lower.

A significant drop in demand for safe haven assets led to the gold price sinking lower overnight. This has put a lot of pressure on the shares of Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) and Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX: SAR) on Friday. So much so, the S&P/ASX All Ords Gold index is down a sizeable 3% at lunch.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 index at lunch is the Cooper Energy Ltd (ASX: COE) share price with a gain of 6.5% following a positive exploration update. Going the other way is the Pro Medicus Limited (ASX: PME) share price with an 8.5% decline. The healthcare technology company’s shares have come under pressure after two of its founders sold 1 million shares each.

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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 Altium. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. recommends Pro Medicus Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Pro Medicus Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of 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.