ASX 200 up 1.9%: Afterpay storms higher, Nufarm jumps, big four banks rise

National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX:NAB) and Nufarm Limited (ASX:NUF) shares are making a splash on the ASX 200 on Wednesday…

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At lunch on Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is back on form and on course to record a strong gain. The benchmark index is currently up a massive 1.9% to 5,893.4 points.

Here’s what has been happening on the market today:

Tech shares surge higher.

Tech shares such as Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) and Xero Limited (ASX: XRO) have been in fine form on Wednesday and are playing a key role in the ASX 200’s strong gain. This follows a very positive night of trade on the tech-focused Nasdaq index overnight. The gains in the local tech sector have been so strong that the S&P/ASX All Technology Index (ASX: XTX) is charging a sizeable 2.8% higher at lunch.

Nufarm results.

The Nufarm Limited (ASX: NUF) share price is storming higher on Wednesday following the release of its full year results. As expected, the agricultural chemicals company reported a massive statutory net loss after tax of $456 million. However, the good news is that Nufarm appears to be over the worst of its issues now. Management advised that the company is emerging from a period of sustained headwinds. It also notes that positive momentum has continued with good revenue growth from continuing businesses in August.

Bank shares rise.

Also helping to drive the ASX 200 higher on Wednesday are the big four banks. All four banks are pushing notably higher today, with the National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) share price leading the way. NAB’s shares are the best performers in the group with a 2.5% gain.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Wednesday is the Service Stream Limited (ASX: SSM) share price with a 12% gain. This appears to be related to the announcement of a $3.5 billion NBN fibre to the home extension plan. Service Stream has been helping with the NBN rollout. The worst performer has been the Ramelius Resources Limited (ASX: RMS) share price with a 6% decline. Improving investor sentiment appears to be weighing on safe haven assets.

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 Xero. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Service Stream 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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