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ASX 200 lunch update: CBA & Northern Star higher, Woolworths lower

At lunch on Tuesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is recovering from yesterday’s decline and is pushing higher. At the time of writing the benchmark index is up 3% to 4,684.5 points.

Here’s what is happening on the market today:

Woolworths COVID-19 update.     

The Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) share price is trading lower on Tuesday after providing an update on the impact that COVID-19 is having on its business. Management notes that its Hotels business has been closed until further notice and it is seeking to redeploy staff to other businesses in the group. In light of this closure and current financial market conditions, the Woolworths board has made the decision to defer the separation of Endeavour Group from Woolworths Group until calendar year 2021.

Big four banks push higher.

The big four banks are all pushing higher at lunch and playing a key role in the market’s positive form. The best performer in the group is the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) share price with a gain of almost 4.5%. This morning analysts at Citi upgraded Australia’s largest bank to a buy rating from sell. It has a $68.75 price target on CBA’s shares.

Gold miners surge higher.

Gold miners such as Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) and Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX: SAR) are charging higher on Tuesday after a spike in the gold price overnight. The spot gold price jumped higher after the U.S. Federal Reserve revealed a major new stimulus package. The Fed will buy an unlimited amount of bonds to support financial markets. The S&P/ASX All Ordinaries Gold index is up almost 10% at lunch.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 at lunch is the Credit Corp Group Limited (ASX: CCP) share price with a 35% gain. It appears as though some investors believe the debt collector’s shares have been oversold during the recent volatility. The worst performer on the index is the GrainCorp Ltd (ASX: GNC) share price with a 53% decline. This follows the successful demerger of its malt business. United Malt Group Limited (ASX: UMG) shares are due to hit the boards at noon today.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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.

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