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ASX 200 up 0.9%: Big four banks rising, NEXTDC rockets higher

At lunch on Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on course to start the financial year in a very positive fashion. The benchmark index is currently up 0.9% to 5,949.5 points.

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

Big four banks push higher.

The big four banks have started the financial year strongly and are all on course to record gains. One of the best performers in the group has been the Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price. Its shares are up 1.2% at the time of writing. This appears to have been driven by a positive broker note out of Westpac. Its analysts have upgraded the banking giant’s shares to a buy rating with a $20.13 price target.

Suncorp announces new operating model.

The Suncorp Group Ltd (ASX: SUN) share price has dropped lower after announcing a new operating model and leadership structure. It believes these changes will drive further improvements in its core insurance and banking businesses. It also expects the initiatives to accelerate its digital and data driven transformation. It appears as though investors have given the changes a lukewarm response.

NEXTDC announces new contract wins.

The NEXTDC Ltd (ASX: NXT) share price is surging higher today after announcing major new contract wins for its New South Wales data centres. NEXTDC’s contracted commitments at its New South Wales facilities have now increased by approximately 4MW, to more than 36MW. This has the potential to increase further in the future, with expansion options potentially lifting its contracted commitments to 60MW. In light of this, NEXTDC has committed to completing the Sydney-2 centre fit-out to a total planned capacity of 30MW.

Best and worst ASX 200 shares.

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Wednesday has been the NEXTDC share price with a gain of 8.5%. This follows its announcement of new contract wins. The worst performer on the index has been the Ampol Limited (ASX: ALD) share price with a decline of 3%. This is despite there being no news out of the fuel retailer previously known as Caltex.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of NEXTDC Limited and 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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