ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) midday update: Westpac’s $1.3bn earnings hit, Ansell sinks

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

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At lunch on Tuesday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has given back its morning gains and is trading lower. The benchmark index is currently down 0.1% to 7,291.5 points.

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

Westpac’s notable items

The Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price is trading lower today after revealing a number of notable items that will impact its financial results. Westpac advised that its profit will be hit by a total of $1.3 billion of notable items. These include $965 million write down of assets in Westpac Institutional Bank (WIB) following its annual impairment test, and additional provisions for customer refunds, payments, associated costs and litigation provisions of $172 million.

Ansell shares downgraded

The Ansell Limited (ASX: ANN) share price is under pressure today after being the subject of a bearish broker note. According to a note out of Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG), its analysts have downgraded the health and safety protection solutions company’s shares to an underperform rating and cut the price target on them to $32.00. The broker believes that recent trends pose downside risk to the market’s earnings expectations.

Mining giants rise

The shares of BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) are rising today after a strong night for iron ore prices. According to Metal Bulletin, the spot iron ore price has jumped 9.4% to US$135.03 a tonne thanks to supply concerns. BHP and Rio Tinto’s shares are both up approximately 1.5% at the time of writing.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Tuesday has been the Alumina Limited (ASX: AWC) share price with a 5% gain. This appears to have been driven by rising alumina prices. The worst performer on the index has been the Ansell share price with a 4% decline following the broker downgrade.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking Corporation. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Macquarie Group Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Ansell Ltd. 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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