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ASX 200 drops 2%: Big four banks sink lower, JB Hi-Fi to deliver strong profit growth

At lunch on Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is out of form and sinking notably lower. The benchmark index is currently down 2% to 6,024.8 points.

Here’s what is happening on the market today:

JB Hi-Fi guidance.

The JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH) share price is trading lower despite the release of a very positive update this morning. The retailer revealed that it has experienced very strong sales growth in Australia during the second half. In light of this, it has reinstated and upgraded its guidance for FY 2020. It expects net profit after tax in the range of $300 million to $305 million. This will be a 20% to 22% increase year on year.

Gold miners jump.

It has been a very positive day of trade for ASX 200 gold miners such as Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST). They are both up significantly today after the gold price jumped higher overnight. The price of the precious metal rose after the U.S. Federal Reserve revealed that it plans to keep interest rates at zero until 2022. The S&P/ASX All Ordinaries Gold index is up 4.5% at lunch.

Big four banks tumble.

The big four banks have come under pressure on Thursday and are acting as a drag on the ASX 200. All four banks have followed the lead of U.S. banks and are in the red at lunch. The worst performer in the group has been the Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price with a 4.5% decline.

Best and worst performing ASX 200 shares.

The best performer on the ASX 200 at lunch is the IPH Ltd (ASX: IPH) share price with a gain of over 6%. This morning analysts at Morgans upgraded the intellectual property company’s shares to an add rating with an $8.69 price target. The worst performer on the index has been the Computershare Limited (ASX: CPU) share price with a 6% decline. This is after Citi downgraded its shares to a sell rating this morning.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. 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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