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ASX 200 jumps 1.2%: Big four banks rise, Qantas update, Mesoblast surges

At lunch on Monday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on course to start the week on a very positive note. The benchmark index is currently up 1.2% to 6,077.4 points.

Here’s what is happening on the market today:

Big four bank shares higher.

The big four banks have started the week in a positive fashion and are helping to drive the ASX 200 higher. All four banks are pushing higher at lunch, but the Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price is the best performer with a solid 2.6% gain.

GPT half year result goes down well with investors.

The GPT Group (ASX: GPT) share price is pushing higher on Monday after the release of its half year result. The property company, which owns assets such as Westfield Penrith and Melbourne Central, reported a $519.1 million loss. This was due to negative property valuation movements of $711.3 million. Despite this, GPT declared an interim distribution of 9.3 cents per stapled security. This is expected to be paid on 28 August.

Qantas share purchase plan flops.

The Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) share price is ascending today despite falling well short of its $500 million target with its share purchase plan. Qantas received valid applications from 8,660 shareholders, which represents just 5% of 173,343 eligible shareholders. As a result, it was only able to raise $71.7 million. Management blamed the timing of the share purchase plan, noting that it coincided with the outbreak in Melbourne.

Best and worst performing ASX 200 shares.

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Monday has been the Mesoblast limited (ASX: MSB) share price with a 9% gain. The biotech company’s shares have been strong performers this month ahead of some potentially major announcements. The worst performer has been the oOh!Media Ltd (ASX: OML) share price with a 5% decline. This appears to be due to concerns that it is having to heavily discount its billboards.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended oOh!Media 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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