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ASX 200 lunch update: Ansell, CBA, & Challenger higher

At lunch on Monday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on course to start the week on a positive note. The benchmark index is currently up 1.45% to 4,912.3 points.

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

Bank shares push higher.    

The big four banks have started the week in a positive fashion. All four banks are climbing higher at lunch. This was despite regional bank Bank of Queensland Limited (ASX: BOQ) withdrawing its earnings guidance for FY 2020 this morning. The best performer among the big four is the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) share price with a gain of almost 4%.

Ansell rockets higher.

The Ansell Limited (ASX: ANN) share price is rocketing higher on Monday after it provided a coronavirus update. That update revealed that it has been experiencing high demand for its hand and body protection products. This has offset weakness in the industrial products division, allowing it to reaffirm its FY 2020 guidance.

Challenger reaffirms guidance.

The Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF) share price has started the week strongly after releasing a trading update. That update revealed that the annuities company remains strongly capitalised and is on track to achieve its revised guidance for FY 2020. This is despite the continued significant investment market volatility caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Management also explained that it has positioned its portfolio defensively to reflect the current conditions. This includes having a high weighting to investment grade fixed income.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 index by some distance on Monday is the Ansell share price. It is up 19% at lunch following its positive update this morning. Going the other way is the Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX: CUV) share price with a 7.5% decline. This morning I revealed that the biopharmaceutical company was a new entry in the top ten most shorted ASX shares.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Challenger Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Ansell Ltd. 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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