ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) midday update: CBA and Westpac rise, Afterpay tumbles again

The ASX 200 is back with a bang!

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At lunch on Wednesday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is back from the break and charging higher. The benchmark index is currently up 0.9% to 7,489.2 points.

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

ASX 200 bank shares storm higher

It has been a great start to the week for ASX 200 bank shares. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) and the rest of the big four banks are all recording solid gains today and helping to drive the ASX 200 higher. The Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price has been the best performer in the group with a gain of 1.3%.

Afterpay shares fall

The Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) share price is bucking the trend and dropping into the red on Wednesday. The buy now pay later provider’s shares are falling in response to yet another pullback in the Block (Square) share price overnight. Afterpay shareholders recently voted in favour of Block’s all-scrip takeover proposal.

Incitec Pivot rated as a buy

The Incitec Pivot Ltd (ASX: IPL) share price is pushing higher on Wednesday. This morning the agricultural chemicals company’s shares were given a boost from a broker note out of Jefferies. The broker has put a buy rating and $4.00 price target on the company’s shares. It expects high ammonia prices to support its earnings.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Wednesday has been the Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) share price with a 5% gain. Investors have been buying lithium shares amid optimism that prices of the battery making ingredient will stay higher for longer. The worst performer has been the Afterpay share price with a 2% decline following Block’s pullback overnight.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns Westpac Banking Corporation. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns and has recommended Afterpay Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns and has recommended Afterpay Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Westpac Banking Corporation. 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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