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ASX 200 lunch time report: CBA & Clinuvel lower, Brambles higher

At lunch on Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 index has given back its morning gains and is trading lower. At the time of writing the benchmark index is down 0.2% to 6,533.1 points.

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

Brambles impresses.

The Brambles Limited (ASX: BXB) share price has raced higher today after the supply chain logistics company’s first quarter update impressed the market. Brambles reported a 5% increase in sales revenue during the quarter in constant currency. This was driven largely by a strong performance by its U.S. business.

Bank shares tumble.

Three of the big four banks are trading lower at lunch and are weighing heavily on the benchmark index. The worst performer in the group is the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) share price with a decline of 0.4%. The only big four bank pushing higher today is the Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price with a gain of 0.2%.     

Transurban Q1 update.

The Transurban Group (ASX: TCL) share price is trading lower today following the release of the toll road giant’s first quarter update. During the September quarter the company’s Average Daily Traffic increased by 1.8% thanks to growth across all markets. It appears as though the market was expecting an even stronger quarter.

Harvey Norman sinks.

The Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (ASX: HVN) share price has come under pressure today after trading ex-dividend for its 21 cents per share fully franked final dividend. The retailer’s shares are down 6.5% or 29 cents at lunch.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 index on Thursday has been the Orora Ltd (ASX: ORA) share price with a 17% gain. Investors have responded positively to news that it is selling its Australasian Fibre Business to Nippon Paper Industries for ~$1.7 billion. The majority of the proceeds of the sale will be returned to shareholders. Going the other way, the Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX: CUV) share price is the worst performer with an 11% decline. This appears to be down to profit taking after a massive gain on Wednesday.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Transurban Group. 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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