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ASX 200 lunch time report

Australian investors will be relieved to see that the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) is pushing notably higher on Thursday.

At lunch the benchmark index is up 0.65% to 5,679.5 points with most sectors posting gains.

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

Second day blues for Coles.

The Coles Group Limited (ASX: COL) share price is down almost 1% to $12.64 at lunch. At one stage the supermarket giant’s shares were down over 4% to $12.21 despite a broker note out of Goldman Sachs declaring them as a buy. The broker has a $14.80 price target on the company’s shares.

Mineral Resources shares rocket on asset sale.

The Mineral Resources Limited (ASX: MIN) share price is up over 23% to $15.36 at lunch after the diversified mining and mining services company announced the sale of 50% of its Wodgina lithium project to Albemarle Corporation for US$1.15 billion. The two companies have also agreed to form a joint venture that will produce spodumene concentrate and lithium hydroxide at Wodgina.

Primary Health Care provides positive update.

One of the best performers on the ASX 200 today has been the Primary Health Care Limited (ASX: PRY) share price following the release of its AGM update. The healthcare company’s shares are up 5.5% at lunch after management advised that trading conditions have improved in the second quarter following a soft first quarter brought about by a benign flu season.

Infant formula companies on the rise.

A2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M) and Bellamy’s Australia Ltd (ASX: BAL) shares are both up around 8% at lunch after favourable news out of China. On Wednesday Chinese regulators revealed that tough new e-commerce laws will not be implemented on January 1 as planned and current policies will remain in place instead. There had been concerns that these new laws could have impacted the sales of these two companies.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 at lunch is the Mineral Resources share price with its 23% gain. A little further back are a2 Milk and Bellamy’s, which are closely followed by the Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) share price and its 7% gain. The worst performer is the Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) share price which is down 3% at the time of writing.

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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. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of A2 Milk. 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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