Australia Markets open in 4 hrs 49 mins

ASX 200 lunch update: Westpac & Woolworths higher, Smartgroup sinks

James Mickleboro
stock market numbers

The S&P/ASX 200 index has started the week on a very positive note. At lunch the benchmark index is up a sizeable 1.2% to 6,819.4 points.

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

Bank shares rise.      

The big four banks have started the week strongly and are helping to drive the ASX 200 higher on Monday. At lunch all four banks are up by at least 1%. The best performer in the group is the Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price with a gain of just over 1.4%.

Woolworths AGM.

The Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) share price is pushing higher on the day of its annual general meeting. The conglomerate was unable to provide a trading update for the second quarter because of the “two very important trading weeks in the quarter to go”. However, it did comment that it was “generally pleased with trading to date.”

Smartgroup sinks.

The Smartgroup Corporation Ltd (ASX: SIQ) share price is crashing lower on Monday. At lunch the salary packaging and fleet management company’s shares are down 15% after the release of a profit warning. Due to changes by its insurance underwriting partner, management warned that earnings from the sale of insurance products are expected to be impacted in FY 2020. It estimates an after tax impact of $4 million.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the benchmark index at lunch is the Virgin Money UK PLC (ASX: VUK) share price. Its shares are up a sizeable 8.5% in response to the Boris Johnson’s UK election victory on Friday. Going the other way is the Perenti Global Ltd (ASX: PRN) share price. The mining services company’s shares are down 17% at lunch after downgrading its underlying net profit after tax guidance for FY 2020. This follows the loss of a major equipment hire contract to Ghana Manganese Company.

The post ASX 200 lunch update: Westpac & Woolworths higher, Smartgroup sinks appeared first on Motley Fool Australia.

Blue chips rated as buys.

You’re invited! For a limited time, The Motley Fool Australia is giving away an urgent new investment report detailing our 3 TOP BLUE CHIP SHARES to own in 2020. So if you like trustworthy, stable, high-performing companies that pay fat fully franked dividends – we’ve got you covered! Stock #1 is a beloved old Australian company turning its attention to high-margin businesses... and rapidly returning cash to shareholders with its hefty dividend...

While Stock #2 is an online powerhouse that’s rapidly gaining market share all around the globe... poised for years (or even decades) of tremendous growth...

Even better, Stock #3 offers a whopping 6.5% grossed-up dividend! Which beats the rates on term deposits right out of the water – and offers the potential for capital gains, too.

You can discover all three shares inside our new report right now. To scoop up your FREE copy, simply click the link below right now. But you will want to hurry – this free report is available for a LIMITED TIME ONLY!


More reading

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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