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ASX 200 lunch update: CIMIC, Galaxy, & Perenti higher

At lunch on Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 index is on course to record another solid gain. At the time of writing the benchmark index is up 0.4% to 6,978.6 points.

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

CIMIC shares jump.

The CIMIC Group Ltd (ASX: CIM) share price has jumped higher on Wednesday following the release of its full year results after the market close yesterday. The engineering company posted a loss after tax of $1 billion in FY 2019. This was due to a one-off post tax impact of $1.8 billion relating to the company’s exit from the Middle East. Excluding this one-off, CIMIC reported a 3% lift in profit to $800 million. It also announced a change of CEO, which appears to have gone down well with the market.

Lithium miners surge higher.

Australian lithium miners such as Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX: GXY) and Orocobre Limited (ASX: ORE) are surging higher on Wednesday. The catalyst for this appears to have been news that the UK is bringing forward its ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars to 2035. If other countries follow the UK’s lead, it could lead to strong electric vehicle sales and increasing demand for lithium.

Perenti higher on M&A news.

The Perenti Global Ltd (ASX: PRN) share price is trading notably higher on Wednesday after it revealed that it is interested in acquiring the mining services business of Downer EDI Limited (ASX: DOW). It advised that it is looking at the business, but will only pursue a transaction that is earnings per share accretive.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the S&P/ASX 200 index on Wednesday is the Orocobre share price with a massive 12% gain. This follows pulling forward of the petrol and diesel car ban in the UK. The worst performer on the index today has been the Silver Lake Resources Limited (ASX: SLR) share price. The gold miner’s shares are down 5% after improving investor sentiment put pressure on safe haven assets.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Galaxy Resources Limited. 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.