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ASX 200 lunch time report: Afterpay & CBA lower, Fortescue higher

James Mickleboro

The S&P/ASX 200 index has bounced back from its morning decline and is up 0.15% to 6,551.7 points at lunch.

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

Bank shares lower.

The shares of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), and the rest of the big four are lower at lunch. This could be in response to a reasonably negative broker note out of the Macquarie equities desk this morning labelling many of the banks as sells.

APRA takes aim at AMP.

The AMP Limited (ASX: AMP) share price is down 5% at lunch after Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) issued directions and additional licence conditions to AMP Super. According to the release, APRA’s new directions and conditions are designed to deliver enhanced member outcomes by requiring AMP Super to make significant changes to its business practices.

Iron ore price surges higher.

The iron ore price continued its run higher and has taken the Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) share price along for the ride. The iron ore producer’s shares are up 4.5% at lunch after the iron ore price hit a five-year high of US$110.20 a tonne overnight. Tight supply and strong demand are behind the steel-making ingredient’s rise.

Afterpay slides lower.

The Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (ASX: APT) share price has continued its decline and is down a further 6.5% at lunch. On Thursday the payments company’s shares dropped 12% after it revealed that AUSTRAC has ordered an audit in respect to its Anti-money Laundering Counter Terrorism Financing compliance. One broker that remains positive on the company is Goldman Sachs. It has retained its conviction buy rating and $27.10 price target on its shares.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 at lunch is the Fortescue share price with its gain of almost 5%. Going the other way is the Afterpay share price with its 6.5% decline. Not far behind is the Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF) share price which has fallen a further 4.5%. The annuities company’s shares came under pressure on Thursday after providing underwhelming guidance for the full year and FY 2020.

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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 Challenger 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