ASX 200 lunch time report

Things are looking a bit better for the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) on Thursday.

At lunch the benchmark index is up slightly thanks to gains in the energy and consumer discretionary sectors.

Here’s what has been happening on the ASX 200 on Thursday:

Energy shares rebound.

Energy shares including Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) have rebounded on Thursday after oil prices recovered slightly. Speculation that OPEC will announce major production cuts for 2019 at its meeting next month led to both WTI and Brent crude oil prices snapping their losing streaks overnight.

Childcare market conditions improve.

Last week Think Childcare Ltd (ASX: TNK) announced that it had experienced improvements in trading conditions in the childcare market. This morning childcare centre giant G8 Education Ltd (ASX: GEM) followed suit when it provided a trading update at its annual general meeting. The G8 Education share price has stormed higher on the news.

Wesfarmers AGM.

Another company holding annual general meeting on Thursday is Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES). The conglomerate’s meeting in Perth kicks off at 10:30am local time. Ahead of the meeting, managing director Rob Scott slammed criticism of its Coles demerger. According to the AFR, he has said that suggestions that Coles would not be able to pay franked dividends for upwards of two years are incorrect. Shareholders will vote on the demerger at this meeting and, if approved, could see Coles listed on the ASX as soon as next week.

Best and worst performer on the ASX 200 today.

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Thursday has been the G8 Education share price with its 13% gain. Some way behind it in second place is the Lendlease Group (ASX: LLC) share price which is up 4.5% at lunch. The property and infrastructure company’s shares were given a boost today when Credit Suisse upgraded them to an outperform rating with a $16.20 price target. The worst performer on the ASX 200 at lunch is the Aveo Group (ASX: AOG) share price with its 6.5% decline. It was downgraded by analysts at Macquarie.

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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. 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.

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