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ASX 200 lunch update: NAB sinks, Westpac shares halted

The S&P/ASX 200 index has followed the lead of U.S. markets and started the week strongly. At lunch the benchmark index is up a solid 0.45% to 6,698.7 points.

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

Westpac results.

Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) shares are in a trading halt on Monday after the banking giant announced a $2.5 billion capital raising. These funds will be used to strengthen its balance sheet and improve its CET1 ratio. The bank also released its full year results and revealed a 15% decline in profits. This led to Westpac cutting its final dividend down to 80 cents per share. One positive, though, is that it remains fully franked.

Big four banks sink.

Westpac’s weak result, its subdued outlook, and dividend cut have weighed on the rest of the big four banks. All three are trading notably lower at lunch. National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) is the worst performer in the group with a 3% decline. Investors may be concerned it will launch a capital raising of its own.

Miners on the rise.

It has been a solid start to the week for mining giants BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO). They are up 2% and 3%, respectively, at lunch after base metal prices climbed higher on Friday. According to CommSec, base metal prices rose by up to 2.2% on the London Metal Exchange at the end of the week.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Monday has been the CSR Limited (ASX: CSR) share price with a 7% gain. This morning Macquarie retained its outperform rating on the building products company and lifted its price target to $4.80 following its first half results. Going the other way, the NAB share price is the worst performer on the index with a disappointing 3% decline on Monday.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. 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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