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ASX 200 down 0.6%: Mesoblast crashes lower, Qantas & Flight Centre tumble, NAB AGM

Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX:FLT) and Mesoblast limited (ASX:MSB) shares are making waves on the ASX 200 on Friday…
The post ASX 200 down 0.6%: Mesoblast crashes lower, Qantas & Flight Centre tumble, NAB AGM appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –

Graphic showing stock market crash with virus imagery overlaid

At lunch on Friday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on course to end the week with a day in the red. The benchmark index is currently down 0.6% to 6,716.6 points.

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

Travel shares tumble.

Travel shares such as Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) and Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) are tumbling lower today. This appears to have been driven by news that the COVID-19 outbreak in New South Wales has continued to grow. This resulted in Western Australia closing its border to the state on Thursday night. There are now concerns that other states will soon follow suit, which could delay the domestic travel market recovery.

Mesoblast shares crash lower.

The Mesoblast limited (ASX: MSB) share price is crashing lower on Friday after the release of a disappointing update in relation to its COVID-19 trial. The release reveals that the biotech company’s trial is unlikely to meet its 30-day mortality reduction endpoint. As a result, the US Data Safety Monitoring Board has effectively told the company to end the trial early and recruit no further patients. Management suggested that changes in the treatment regimens for COVID-19 patients are to blame.

NAB annual general meeting.

The National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) share price is dropping lower on the day of its annual general meeting. This appears to be down to broad market weakness rather than anything that went on at the event. In fact, NAB spoke positively about the future at its meeting. CEO, Ross McEwan, said: “While revenue headwinds from low credit growth and ultra-low interest rates remain, we see opportunities for growth in our core banking businesses; NAB, BNZ and UBank. As we lift performance, we expect to have the opportunity to return more profit to you, our shareholders.”

Best and worst ASX 200 performers.

The Blackmores Limited (ASX: BKL) share price is the best performer on Friday with a 4% gain. The health supplements company’s shares have rebounded after a sizeable decline on Thursday. The worst performer has been the Mesoblast share price with a 35% decline. This follows its COVID-19 trial update.

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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 Blackmores Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Flight Centre Travel Group Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

The post ASX 200 down 0.6%: Mesoblast crashes lower, Qantas & Flight Centre tumble, NAB AGM appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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