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ASX 200 down 1.15%: NAB downgraded, Telstra asset sale, gold miners rocket

At lunch on Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on course to give back a lot of yesterday’s gains. The benchmark index is currently down 1.15% to 5,968.5 points.

Here’s what is happening on the market today:

Big four banks tumble.

The big four banks’ rebound was only short-lived. After recording some very strong gains on Tuesday, they are giving them back today and weighing down the index. The worst performer in the sector has been the National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) share price with a 2.8% decline. Its shares were downgraded by analysts at Macquarie today. The broker downgraded NAB all the way from outperform to underperform with a $17.50 price target.

Telstra asset sale.

The Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) share price has dropped lower with the market today despite announcing a major asset sale. According to the release, Telstra has entered into an agreement to sell its data centre complex in Clayton, Victoria, to Centuria Industrial REIT (ASX: CIP) for a total of $416.7 million. Telstra’s CEO, Andrew Penn, notes that the sale is part of the company’s T22 strategy which is cutting costs and simplifying its business.

Gold miners rocket higher.

One area of the market which is booming on Wednesday is the gold sector. The likes of Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN), Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM), and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) are all storming higher after the gold price smashed through US$2,000 an ounce and hit a record high overnight. At the time of writing, the S&P/ASX All Ordinaries Gold index is up a sizeable 3%.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Wednesday has been the Mesoblast limited (ASX: MSB) share price with a gain of almost 7%. This may be due to news that a competing COVID-19 treatment delivered promising but not overly convincing trial results. The worst performer has been the Pro Medicus Limited (ASX: PME) share price with a 4% decline. This is despite there being no news out of the leading health imaging company.

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James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. recommends Pro Medicus Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Pro Medicus Ltd. and Telstra Limited. 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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