September was a difficult month for the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO). The benchmark index lost a disappointing 2.6% of its value during the month to finish the period at 7,332.2 points.
One area of the market that was reasonably resilient was the banking sector. Here are a few highlights from the month:
Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG)
The Macquarie share price was the best performer among the major banks with an impressive 9.1% gain. The catalyst for this was the release of a trading update from the investment bank. According to the release, Macquarie expects its first half profits to be down slightly on the second half of FY 2021. This was significantly better than the market was expecting and led to Ord Minnett retaining its accumulate rating and lifting its price target to $190.00.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA)
The CBA share price was a solid performer in September, rising 4.2% over the 30 days. This was despite there being no news out of Australia’s largest bank. Though, with its shares pulling back since the middle of August, some investors may have been topping up their positions. Particularly given how Bell Potter has a buy rating and $118.00 price target on its shares.
Australia and New Zealand Banking GrpLtd (ASX: ANZ)
The ANZ share price beat the market decline with a modest 1.1% gain during the month. The only real announcement out of the bank last week was its ESG update. That update revealed how the banking giant is complying with the push towards a sustainable and diverse business model. ANZ highlighted that it has funded and facilitated $14 billion of sustainable finance.
Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC)
The Westpac share price wasn’t far behind with a 0.7% gain in September. This was despite the bank revealing that its deal to sell its Pacific businesses to Kina Securities Limited (ASX: KSL) for up to $420 million was blocked by regulators. This ultimately led to Australia’s oldest bank pulling the plug on the deal.