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ASX 200 lunch time report: Appen, NRW Holdings, & WiseTech Global higher

James Mickleboro
share market beating

The S&P/ASX 200 index is on course to finish the week on a high. At lunch the benchmark index is up 0.8% to 6,378.9 points.

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

Bank shares lower.

The big four banks look set to finish the week on a disappointing note. All the big four banks are in the red at lunch, with the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) share price easily the worst performer in the group with a decline of almost 2%. Its shares have come under pressure after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand revoked ANZ Bank New Zealand’s accreditation to model its own operational risk capital requirement.

Tech shares charge higher.

One of the best performing areas of the market on Friday has been the tech sector. Thanks partly to a 5% gain by the Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) share price and a 4.5% rise by the WiseTech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC) share price, the S&P/ASX 200 Info Tech index is up a sizeable 2.2% at lunch.

St Barbara shares crash lower.

The St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) share price has returned from its trading halt and is down 13.5% to $2.87 at lunch. The gold miner’s shares were halted whilst it undertook a A$490 million entitlement offer to part-fund the acquisition of Canada-based low-cost gold producer Atlantic Gold Corporation. This morning the company announced that it successfully completed the institutional component of the underwritten entitlement offer, raising approximately $355 million at the offer price of $2.89 per share. The rest is now expected to be raised via a retail entitlement offer which is scheduled to open on May 21.

Gold miners in the red.

St Barbara isn’t the only gold miner trading lower on Friday. Improved investor sentiment led to the gold price and other safe haven asset being sold down overnight, putting pressure on Australia’s gold miners today. The likes of Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) and Resolute Mining Limited (ASX: RSG) are down around 1.5% at lunch. This has led to the S&P/ASX All Ords Gold index sinking 1.2% lower.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 at lunch is the NRW Holdings Limited (ASX: NWH) share price with a gain of just under 12%. Investors have responded positively to news that it has won a major contract with Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO). Going the other way is the St Barbara share price with its 13.5% decline. The gold miner is the worst performer by some distance today.

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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 WiseTech Global. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Appen Ltd. 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