At lunch on Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 index has followed the lead of U.S. markets and is sinking lower. At the time of writing the benchmark index is down 1.25% to 6,355.5 points.
Here’s what is happening on the market today:
Bank shares lower.
The big four banks are trading notably lower at lunch. This has been driven by concerns over the impact that rate cuts will have on the major banks’ net interest margins. This follows their decision to pass on the cash rate cut in full on Tuesday. The worst performer in the group is the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) share price with a decline of over 2%.
Gold miners surge.
Australia’s leading gold miners such as Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) are surging higher at lunch after the gold price jumped overnight. The precious metal was given a major boost after the U.S. Federal Reserve held an emergency meeting and cut interest rates by 0.5%. This means the Fed’s benchmark funds rate will now be targeted in a range between 1%-1.25%.
NEXTDC contract update.
Also pushing higher on Wednesday is the NEXTDC Ltd (ASX: NXT) share price. Investors have been buying the data centre operator’s shares after it announced that contracted commitments at its Victorian data centre facilities have now increased by 40% from 15MW at December 31 to approximately 21MW. This figure could still increase further. Management advised that when including contracted expansion options, NEXTDC now has more than 28MW in Victoria.
Best and worst performers.
The best performer at lunch on the ASX 200 on Wednesday is unsurprisingly a gold miner. The Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX: SAR) share price is leading the way with a gain of almost 7% after the gold price jumped. The worst performer on the index is the Perpetual Limited (ASX: PPT) share price with an 8.5% decline. Part of the investment company’s decline can be attributed to its shares trading ex-dividend this morning for its fully franked $1.05 per share interim dividend.
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As of 13/2/20
Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of NEXTDC Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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.