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ASX 200 lunch time report: Afterpay, BHP, & Wesfarmers higher

James Mickleboro
ASX stock market

The S&P/ASX 200 index has given back some of its morning gains but is still trading higher at lunch. At the time of writing the index is up over 0.2% to 6,562.1 points.

Here’s what has been happening on the market today:

Afterpay raises $317.2 million.

The Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (ASX: APT) share price has returned to trade and raced 6% higher after successfully raising $317.2 million via its fully underwritten institutional placement. The payments company advised that the placement was strongly supported by both existing and new shareholders. The strong demand led to the funds being raised at $23.00 per share, which was at the top end of the placement price range and a discount of just 4.8% to the last close price.

Wesfarmers announces its latest catch.

The Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) share price has pushed higher after announcing an agreement to acquire online retailer Catch Group for $230 million. Wesfarmers managing director, Rob Scott, believes the acquisition is consistent with the company’s disciplined approach to capital allocation. He also feels it “represents an opportunity to accelerate Wesfarmers and Kmart Group’s digital and e-commerce capabilities whilst continuing to invest in the unique customer and supplier proposition provided by Catch Group.”

Bank shares run out of steam.

Australia’s big four banks look to have run out of steam after a strong share price rally over the last few trading sessions. At lunch all four banks are trading lower. The worst performer in the group has been the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) share price with a decline of 0.8%.

Miners charge higher.

It certainly has been a positive day of trade for Australia’s biggest miners. At lunch both the BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) share price and the Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) share price are trading notably higher after iron ore prices continued their ascent. BHP’s shares are up 3% and Fortescue’s shares are up 4.5%.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 index at lunch is the Emeco Holdings Limited (ASX: EHL) share price with a 14% gain to $1.88. The equipment leasing company’s shares raced higher after advising that it expects FY 2019 operating EBITDA to be up almost 40% year on year. Going the other way is the Mayne Pharma Group Ltd (ASX: MYX) share price which has fallen over 3.5%. The pharmaceutical company’s shares have been hammered in recent weeks after reporting weakness in its key Generics business.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Wesfarmers Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO. 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.

The Motley Fool's purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool's free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. 2019