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ASX 200 up 1.35%: Gold miners and Fortescue rocket higher, big four banks tumble

At lunch on Monday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on course to start the week with a strong gain. The benchmark index is currently up a sizeable 1.35% to 5,477.2 points.

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

Big four banks drop lower.

The ASX 200 may be charging higher, but the same cannot be said for the big four banks. At lunch all four banks are trading lower and are acting as a drag on the market. The Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price is the worst performer in the group with a decline of almost 1%. Investors may have concerns that the Reserve Bank could take rates into negative territory in the near future.

Gold miners rocket higher.

One area of the market which is performing particularly strongly is the gold mining industry. Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) and the rest of the gold miners are rocketing higher today after the gold price hit a seven-year high on Friday and then continued its ascent on Monday. At the time of writing the S&P/ASX All Ordinaries Gold index is up a massive 5.9%.

Fortescue record high.

The Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) share price climbed 7% to a record high of $13.40 this morning. Investors have been buying the iron ore producer’s shares after the price of the steel making ingredient climbed above US$90 a tonne. Solid demand in China and production disruptions in Brazil have supported the iron ore price. Fortescue remains on course to deliver record shipments and profits in FY 2020.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Monday has been the Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX: SAR) share price with a 10% gain. Investors have been buying its shares after the rise in the gold price. The worst performer has been the Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) share price with a decline of over 3%. A good portion of this decline is attributable to its shares trading ex-dividend this morning.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Macquarie Group 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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