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ASX 200 up 0.9%: Telstra dividend update, Afterpay & Xero hit record highs

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At lunch on Tuesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has continued its remarkable run and is on course to record another strong gain. The benchmark index is currently up 0.9% to 6,187 points.

Here’s what is happening on the market today:

Telstra annual general meeting update.

The Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) share price is pushing higher on the day of its annual general meeting. Ahead of the virtual meeting, Telstra released its presentations. These included a summary of its performance in FY 2020, the progress it is making with its T22 strategy, and an update on its dividend. It is the latter which appears to have really caught the eye today. Telstra’s chairman advised that the Telstra board is looking into ways to maintain its 16 cents per share dividend in FY 2021 and beyond.

Tech shares hit record highs.

A very strong night of trade on the technology-focused Nasdaq index has given the local tech sector a big lift on Tuesday. This has led to the S&P/ASX All Technology Index (ASX: XTX) charging higher and taken a few tech shares to record highs. Two of note that have achieved this feat are payments company Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) and cloud-based business and accounting software provider Xero Limited (ASX: XRO).

Coal miners under pressure.

Australian coal miners such as Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC) have come under pressure today amid reports that the Chinese government has told state-owned energy companies not to buy Australian coal. One Chinese analyst told the AFR that he believed the move is “a political sanction against Australia.”

Best and worst ASX 200 performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Tuesday has been the Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX: URW) share price with a 6% gain. This morning the shopping centre operator announced an agreement to sell its SHiFT office building for 620 million euros. The worst performer on the index is the Whitehaven Coal share price following the alleged Chinese ban on Australian coal.

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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 Xero. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Telstra 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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