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ASX 200 lunch update: G8, Wesfarmers, & Westpac higher

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At lunch on Tuesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has continued its positive run and is charging notably higher. The benchmark index is up 2.7% to 5,321.7 points at the time of writing.

Here’s what is happening on the market today:

Bank shares are booming.  

It has been another fantastic day of trade for the big four banks. The Federal Government’s latest stimulus package appears to have gone down very well with the market and eased concerns of a major spike in bad debts. All four banks are storming higher, but the best performer is the Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price with an 8% gain.

Wesfarmers sells 5.2% Coles stake.

The Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) share price has tumbled lower on Tuesday after Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) offloaded a 5.2% stake in the company. Wesfarmers agreed a fee of $15.39 per share, which was a sizeable discount to the supermarket giant’s last close price of $16.82. Wesfarmers advised that it made the move to strengthen its balance sheet during the coronavirus outbreak. It expects to recognise a pre-tax profit on sale of approximately $130 million.

G8 Education storms higher.

The G8 Education Ltd (ASX: GEM) shares price is rocketing higher on Tuesday. The childcare centre operator is being seen as a big winner from the newly announced wage subsidy program. This package will see eligible businesses receive wage subsidies of $1,500 per eligible employee per fortnight via a JobKeeper payment. This has more than offset news that G8 Education is postponing its next dividend payment from next week to October.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 index at lunch is the Credit Corp Group Limited (ASX: CCP) share price with a gain of almost 25%. This is despite there being no news out of the debt collector. The worst performer on the index is the Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX: URW) share price with a 9% decline. The shopping centre operator’s shares have been hammered amid concerns over the retail shutdown in Europe and other countries.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Wesfarmers Limited. 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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