At lunch on Friday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on course to record a sizeable decline. The benchmark index is currently down 1% to 6,032.7 points.
Here’s what has been happening on the market today:
Bank shares tumble.
The big four banks are all dropping notably lower on Friday and weighing on the performance of the ASX 200. The worst performer in the group is the Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price with a 1.3% decline. Investor sentiment in the sector may have taken a hit today after Bank of Queensland Limited (ASX: BOQ) increased its COVID-19 provisions. The regional bank also warned that there is considerable economic uncertainty and it will continue to monitor the impacts of COVID‐19 on its portfolio and the collective provision prior to finalising its year end position.
Tech shares drop lower.
It has been a disappointing end to the week for Australia’s leading tech shares. The likes of Altium Limited (ASX: ALU), Appen Ltd (ASX: APX), and Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) are all deep in the red at lunch. This appears to have been driven by a selloff on the tech-focused Nasdaq index overnight. In addition to this, news that ecommerce giant Shopify has signed an agreement with Affirm for its own buy now pay later offering could be putting further pressure on the Afterpay share price.
IAG cancels its final dividend.
The Insurance Australia Group Ltd (ASX: IAG) share price is sinking lower on Friday after the release of an a trading update. The insurance giant revealed that the second half of FY 2020 has been extremely tough. As a result, it expects to post a pre-tax loss on shareholders’ funds income of $181 million. This is down sharply from a profit of $227 million in FY 2019. In light of this, it advised that it will not be paying a final dividend.
Best and worst ASX 200 shares.
The best performer on the ASX 200 on Friday has been the IGO Ltd (ASX: IGO) share price. It is up 4.5% at lunch after a strong gain by the spot nickel price overnight. The worst performer on the index has been the Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) share price with a 6% decline. This morning analysts at Credit Suisse downgraded the gold miner’s shares to a neutral rating with a $6.00 price target.
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James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and recommends Altium. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO and Appen Ltd. 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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