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ASX 200 up 0.8%: Big four banks higher, CSL rises on vaccine update, Zip rockets

ASX 200 shares
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At lunch on Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on course to continue its excellent winning run. The benchmark index is up 0.9% to 6,090.5 points.

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

Big four banks push higher again.

It has been another positive day for the big four banks on Thursday. At lunch, all four are pushing higher, with Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) shares leading the way with a gain of almost 1.5%. Investors have been buying the banking giant’s shares this week after analysts at Macquarie upgraded them from neutral to an outperform rating.

CSL COVID-19 vaccine update.

The CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) share price is on the rise today after providing a further update on its COVID-19 vaccine plans. The biotherapeutics company has signed a final agreement with the Commonwealth of Australia for the supply of 51 million doses of the University of Queensland-CSL COVID-19 vaccine candidate (V451), should clinical trials be successful. Subject to progress in the current Phase 1 study, the first subject for the Phase 2b/3 is expected be enrolled in December 2020. After which, it is aiming to complete its recruitment by March 2021.

Transurban AGM.

The Transurban Group (ASX: TCL) share price is dropping lower on Thursday after providing its annual general meeting update. Although the toll road operator revealed a meaningful improvement in its traffic volumes, it appears as though the market was expecting even better. The company also revealed that it is looking for equity partners for its Greater Washington Area assets. It expects this to release significant capital into the business.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Thursday has been the Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) share price with a 7% gain. This follows the release of a positive third quarter update from one of its rivals. The worst performer on the index has been the Growthpoint Properties Australia Ltd (ASX: GOZ) share price with a 2% decline. This is despite there being no news out of the property company today.

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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 CSL Ltd. and ZIPCOLTD FPO. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Transurban Group. 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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