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ASX 200 up 0.1%: Afterpay announces capital raising, big four banks lower ahead of RBA meeting

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At lunch on Tuesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has given back the majority of its strong morning gains but remains just in the black. The benchmark index is currently up 0.1% to 6,021.1 points.

Here’s what has been happening on the ASX 200 today:

Afterpay capital raising and update.

The Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) share price is in a trading halt on Tuesday as its seeks to raise $800 million from investors. This comprises a $650 million fully underwritten placement to institutional investors and a $150 million share purchase plan. The payments company is aiming to raise the funds at $61.75 per new share. This represents a 9.2% discount to its last close price. Afterpay also released a trading update and revealed that its underlying sales came in at $11.1 billion in FY 2020. This is up 112% on the prior corresponding period.

Banks lower ahead of Reserve Bank meeting.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) and the rest of the big four banks are all trading lower ahead of the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy meeting this afternoon. Investors appear nervous that the central bank will take the cash rate to zero and add further pressure to bank margins. At present, cash rate futures indicate a 62% probability of a rate cut today.

St Barbara update impresses.

The St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) share price is storming higher after the release of its fourth quarter production update. According to the release, fourth quarter gold production came in at 108,612 ounces. This lifted the gold miner’s full year production to 381,887 ounces, which was in line with its full year production guidance of 370,000 to 400,000 ounces. At the end of the period, St Barbara had A$406 million in cash and term deposits.

Best and worst ASX 200 shares.

The St Barbara share price is the best performer on the ASX 200 on Tuesday with a sizeable 8% gain. This follows the release of its aforementioned production update. The worst performer on the index has been the Mesoblast limited (ASX: MSB) share price with a 4% decline. This appears to be down to profit taking after strong gains on Monday following a positive update.

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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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