At lunch on Friday the S&P/ASX 200 index has returned to form and is pushing higher. The benchmark index is up 0.5% to 7,044.2 points at noon.
Here’s what has been happening on the market today:
Bank shares rise.
Improving investor sentiment has taken the big four banks higher today. While all four are in positive territory at lunch, it is the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) share price which is leading the pack. Its shares are up a sizeable 0.6% at lunch.
The ResMed Inc. (ASX: RMD) share price is pushing 4.5% higher following the release of its second quarter update. During the second quarter the sleep treatment company delivered revenue growth of 13% to US$736.2 million. Thanks to its expanding margins, ResMed’s net operating profit increased at an even quicker rate of 26% to US$197.8 million.
Investors have been buying Link Administration Holdings Ltd (ASX: LNK) shares on Friday after it announced a new acquisition. Link has agreed to acquire Pepper European Servicing for an upfront cash payment of €165 million (~A$266 million) and contingent cash payments of up to €35 million (~A$56 million). The transaction is expected to be double digit accretive to earnings, with a further 5% to 6% accretion anticipated from efficiency benefits over the medium term.
Best and worst performers.
The best performer on the ASX 200 index by some distance on Friday is the Link share price. It is up over 11% at lunch following the announcement of its acquisition of Pepper European Servicing for €165 million. The worst performer on the index is the Gold Road Resources Ltd (ASX: GOR) share price with a 4% decline. This appears to be down to profit taking after a strong gain on Thursday. The gold miner’s shares rocketed higher after the release of a very positive quarterly update yesterday.
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James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Link Administration Holdings Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Link Administration Holdings Ltd and ResMed Inc. 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.