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ASX 200 down 0.75%: Big four banks drop, Healius hits record high, Zip slides lower

businessman sitting at desk with head in hands in front of computer screens with falling financial charts, asx recession
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At lunch on Thursday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on course to record a disappointing decline. The benchmark index is currently down 0.75% to 6,144.7 points.

Here’s what is happening on the market today:

ASX 200 sinks lower on U.S. stimulus concerns.

The ASX 200 index is sinking lower on Thursday after the U.S. senate blocked a US$500 billion COVID-19 stimulus package. While all sectors are currently trading lower, the banks are arguably weighing heaviest on the market’s performance. The worst performer in the big four has been the National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) share price with a 1.3% decline.

Healius hits a record high.

The Healius Ltd (ASX: HLS) share price hit a record high this morning after the release of its first quarter update. That update revealed that the healthcare company achieved revenue of $492.5 million and underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of $81.2 million during the first quarter. This was a 17.5% and 150% increase, respectively, over the prior corresponding period. The company’s COVID-19 testing was a key driver of growth.

Zip tumbles on Westpac sale.

The Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) share price is tumbling lower today after Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) announced the sale of its 10.7% stake to institutional investors. The banking giant was able to fetch $6.65 per share for its 55.46 million Zip shares. This was a 6% discount and valued them at approximately $368.8 million. The two parties intend to continue working together despite the share sale.

Best and worst ASX 200 shares.

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Thursday has been the Healius share price with a gain of over 6% following its impressive update. Going the other way, the worst performer has been the Resolute Mining Ltd (ASX: RSG) share price. The gold miner’s shares are down 8% following a disappointing third quarter update. Resolute also revealed that its full year production will be at the low end of its guidance range, whereas its costs will be at the high end.

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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 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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