ASX 200 down 1.2%: Westpac hit with $1.3bn penalty, Brickworks disappoints, tech shares lower

Brickworks Limited (ASX:BKW) and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX:WBC) shares are making a splash on the ASX 200 on Thursday…

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At lunch on Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is off its morning lows but still trading notably lower. The benchmark index is currently down 1.2% to 5,853.3 points.

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

Westpac hit with $1.3 billion penalty.

The Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price has dropped lower today after revealing that it has agreed to a settlement with AUSTRAC. The banking giant has agreed to pay a penalty of $1.3 billion for its Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism and Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF) contraventions. This makes it the largest fine in Australian corporate history. It was also more than the $900 million the bank was expecting to pay. The Federal Court still needs to approve the settlement.

Tech shares tumble.

It has been a disappointing day of trade for the tech sector. The likes of Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) and Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) have come under pressure after a tech selloff on Wall Street led to the Nasdaq index dropping 3% overnight. At the time of writing, the S&P/ASX All Technology Index (ASX: XTX) is down 1.7%.

Brickworks FY 2020 result.

The Brickworks Limited (ASX: BKW) share price is trading lower today after the release of its full year results. For the 12 months ended 31 July 2020, the building products and property development company posted a 4% increase in revenue to $953 million and a 38% decline in underlying net profit after tax to $146 million. This was driven largely by its Australian operations and its investments. This fell short of the market’s expectations.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Thursday has been the Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF) share price with a gain of almost 4% despite there being no news out of the annuities company. Though, last week Credit Suisse upgraded its shares to an outperform rating with a $4.25 price target. The worst performer has been the Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) share price with a decline of almost 5%. This follows a sharp pullback in the spot gold price.

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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 ZIPCOLTD FPO. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Brickworks and Challenger Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO. 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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