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ASX 200 edges higher: Afterpay and Qantas join forces, big four banks push higher

At lunch on Monday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has fought back from a morning decline and is trading a fraction higher at 6,059.6 points.

Here’s what is happening on the market today:

Afterpay and Qantas join forces.

The Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) share price is pushing higher today after announcing a partnership with Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN). According to the release, Qantas Frequent Flyers will soon be able to earn Qantas Points with the buy now pay later platform. The partnership will launch later this week and allow frequent flyers to earn up to 5,000 Qantas Points when they link their membership number to their Afterpay account.

Big four banks push higher.

The big four banks have started the week in a positive fashion. All four banks are pushing higher at lunch and are fighting hard to drive the ASX 200 into the black. The best performer in the group at the time of writing is the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) share price with a 0.6% gain.

Adelaide Brighton continues to sink lower.

After a 25% decline on Friday, the Adbri Ltd (ASX: ABC) share price has continued its slide on Monday. A number of brokers have responded negatively to news that Alcoa of Australia will not be renewing its lime supply contract when it expires at the end of June 2021. One bearish broker is UBS. Analysts at the investment bank have downgraded the building materials company’s shares to a sell rating (from buy) and slashed the price target on them to $2.00.

Best and worst ASX 200 shares.

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Monday has been the Mesoblast limited (ASX: MSB) share price with a gain of 9%. Investors have responded positively to news that its remestemcel-L product has been given an expanded access protocol for compassionate use in the treatment of COVID-19 infected children with cardiovascular and other complications of multisystem inflammatory syndrome. The worst performer on the index has been the Adbri share price with a decline of almost 7%.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO. 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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