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ASX 200 lunch update: CBA higher, Downer & Westpac lower

At lunch on Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 index has given back yesterday’s strong gains. At the time of writing the benchmark index is down 0.8% to 7,077.7 points.

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

Westpac names its new chairman.

This morning Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) named its new chairman. The bank has named former Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) chief executive John McFarlane as the its new chairman. He will be replacing the outgoing Lindsay Maxsted at the start of April. One of his responsibilities will be appointing a new CEO following Brian Hartzer’s departure.

CBA class action.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) share price is trading higher on Thursday despite being the latest bank to be served with a class action. Shine Corporate Ltd (ASX: SHJ) has filed a class action against its subsidiary Colonial First State Investments (CFSIL). It alleges that CFSIL tipped superannuation members into the bank’s insurance arm CommInsure, which then charged excessive insurance premiums.

Downer crashes lower.       

The Downer EDI Limited (ASX: DOW) share price crashed 26% lower this morning after downgrading its profit guidance. The leading integrated services provider now expects its NPATA in FY 2020 to be $300 million. This compares to its previous guidance of $365 million. Its new guidance implies a decline of 12% year on year. The underperformance of its Engineering, Construction, and Maintenance business is to blame for the downgrade.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Thursday is the National Storage REIT (ASX: NSR) share price with a 7% gain. This follows confirmation that it has received a takeover approach. The worst performer on the index is the Downer share price with a 21% decline following its guidance downgrade. Not far behind with a 19% decline is rival Cimic Group Ltd (ASX: CIM). Investors have been selling its shares following a disappointing update.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended National Storage REIT. 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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