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ASX 200 up 2.3%: Big four banks charge higher, Qantas soars, energy shares jump

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The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has bounced back very strongly on Monday and is on course to record an impressive gain. At lunch, the benchmark index is up 2.3% to 5,924.7 points.

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

Bank shares charge higher.

The big four banks have started the week in a very positive fashion. At lunch, all four banks are trading at least 3% higher and helping to drive the ASX 200 higher. The best performer in the group is the Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price. The shares of Australia’s oldest bank are up over 4% at the time of writing.

Qantas shares soar.

The Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) share price is soaring on Monday after being the subject of a bullish broker note out of Goldman Sachs. This morning the broker upgraded the airline operator’s shares to a buy rating and lifted the price target on them by a massive 49% to $5.28. Its analysts appear confident the domestic travel market will recover both quicker and stronger than expected.

Energy shares storm higher.

Also storming higher today are Australia’s leading energy shares. The likes of Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) are all trading notably higher after oil prices started their recovery in Asian trade. The S&P/ASX 200 Energy index is up a sizeable 4.5% at the time of writing.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Monday has been the Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) share price with a 6.5% gain. This follows a recovery in oil prices in Asian trade following a sharp decline on Friday. The worst performer has been the Viva Energy Group Ltd (ASX: VEA) share price with a sizeable 11.5% decline. This morning the fuel retailer’s shares traded ex-dividend for its 5.9 cents per share dividend and its 21.46 cents per share capital return. The latter relates to its Waypoint REIT (ASX: WPR) divestment.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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