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ASX 200 up 1%: Big four banks charge higher, SKYCITY impresses, Xero tumbles

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At lunch on Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on course to record its second consecutive day of gains. The benchmark index is currently up 1% to 6,121.9 points.

Here’s what is happening on the market today:

Big four banks charge higher.

The big four banks are all charging higher today and underpinning the ASX 200’s positive performance. At lunch, the best performer in the group has been the Australia and New Zealand Banking GrpLtd (ASX: ANZ) share price with a gain of over 2%. This follows news that Australia recorded a trade surplus of $4.6 billion in July, well ahead of expectations.

SKYCITY impresses.

The SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited (ASX: SKC) share price is storming higher today after the release of its FY 2020 results and a surprisingly positive trading update. In respect to the latter, SKYCITY revealed that local gaming in Auckland and Hamilton was ahead of pre-COVID levels. Furthermore, local gaming in Adelaide is now consistent with pre-COVID 19 levels. In light of this, it expects profit growth in FY 2021.

Insider selling galore.

The founders of both WiseTech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC) and Xero Limited (ASX: XRO) have been selling a considerable number of shares. In respect to WiseTech, CEO Richard White offloaded $10 million shares over the last few trading days. As for Xero, the business and accounting software provider’s founder, Rod Drury, is understood to have offloaded almost $200 million worth of shares this week. Both WiseTech and Xero are trading lower at lunch.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Thursday has been the SKYCITY share price following its positive update with its full year results. The casino and resorts operator’s shares are up 8%. The worst performer has been the Spark Infrastructure Group (ASX: SKI) share price with a 5% decline. This morning the utility infrastructure company’s shares traded ex-dividend for its 7 cents per share interim dividend.

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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. owns shares of WiseTech Global and Xero. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Sky City Entertainment Group 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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