ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) midday update: Big four banks fall, Afterpay tumbles

It has been a very red day for the ASX 200…

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At lunch on Wednesday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has followed the lead of US markets and is a sea of red. The benchmark index is currently down 1.5% to 7,166.6 points.

Here’s what is happening on the ASX 200 today:

Big four banks weigh on ASX 200

The big four banks are tumbling today and are weighing down the ASX 200. This has been driven by broad market weakness and concerns over plans by financial regulators to clamp down on housing market risks. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) share price is down 1.5% at the time of writing.

Gold miners rise

Gold miners Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) and Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) are pushing higher today despite weakness in the gold price overnight. It appears as though investors have been buying safe haven assets today due to the market volatility. S&P/ASX All Ordinaries Gold index is up 0.9% at lunch.

Afterpay shares tumble

It has been a bad day for the Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) share price on Wednesday. Investors have been selling down the buy now pay later provider’s shares in response to a pullback in the Square share price overnight. As Square is acquiring Afterpay in an all-scrip deal, the value of the takeover rises and falls with Square’s shares. The Square share price dropped 6% overnight.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Wednesday has been the St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) share price with a 4.5% gain. Demand for safe haven assets appears to be behind this rise. The worst performer has been the Mineral Resources Limited (ASX: MIN) share price with a 6% decline. This morning Morgan Stanley retained its underweight rating and cut its price target on the company’s shares to $41.00.

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Motley Fool contributor 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 and has recommended AFTERPAY T FPO. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended AFTERPAY T FPO. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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