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ASX 200 update: Westpac reveals $1.43bn earnings hit, Afterpay impresses

At lunch on Tuesday 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 0.8% to 5,432.2 points.

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

Westpac earnings hit.

Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price is trading lower at lunch following a provisions update. According to the release, Westpac’s expected new and increased provisions and asset write-downs total approximately $1,430 million after tax. These will reduce its first half FY 2020 cash earnings and statutory net profit after tax accordingly. This does not include impairment provisions. The bank is currently assessing these and will update the market in the coming weeks.

Afterpay update.

The Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) share price is storming higher on Tuesday after the release of a strong business update. During the third quarter the buy now pay later provider’s positive form continued with further stellar customer and sales growth. At the end of the quarter, Afterpay’s underlying sales reached $7.3 billion year to date. This was a 105% increase on the prior corresponding period. Positively, its losses and income margin remained stable during the quarter despite the pandemic.

Capital raisings.

InvoCare Limited (ASX: IVC) and QBE Insurance Group Ltd (ASX: QBE) have become the latest ASX 200 shares to launch equity raisings. This morning both the funerals operator and insurance giant requested trading halts whilst they undertook their respective raisings. InvoCare is aiming to raise $150 million through an underwritten institutional placement. Whereas QBE is seeking to raise US$825 million (inclusive of its share purchase plan).

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Tuesday has been the Southern Cross Media Group Ltd (ASX: SXL) share price. It has rocketed a staggering 36% higher on no news. However, its shares have been crushed this year. This could mean bargain hunters are swooping in today. The worst performer has been the Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) share price with an 8% decline. Its shares continue to fall following its highly dilutive capital raising.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Webjet Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended InvoCare 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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