ASX 200 down 0.7%: BHP & Fortescue tumble, Reliance rockets, CSL downgraded

Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX:FMG) and Reliance Worldwide Corporation Ltd (ASX:RWC) shares are making a splash on the ASX 200 today…

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At lunch on Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on course to record a disappointing decline. The benchmark index is currently down 0.7% to 6,775.2 points.

Here’s what is happening on the market today:

Iron ore miners tumble

BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP), Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG), and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) shares are tumbling lower on Wednesday and are acting as a major drag on the ASX 200. The Fortescue share price is the worst performer in the group with a decline of over 6%. Investors have been selling their shares after the iron ore price pulled back. According to CommSec, the iron ore price fell by US$3.85 or 2.3% to US$164.65 a tonne after Chinese steel mill profitability weakened.

Reliance update impresses

The Reliance Worldwide Corporation Ltd (ASX: RWC) share price is surging higher today following the release of its half year update. According to the release, the plumbing parts company achieved net sales of $642 million for the six months ending 31 December. This was up 13% on the prior corresponding period. Things were even better for its earnings, with EBITDA expected to be in the range of $164 million to $167 million. This will be up at least 30% versus the same period last year.

CSL downgraded

The CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) share price is dropping lower today after being downgraded by analysts at Ord Minnett. The broker has downgraded the biotech giant’s shares to a hold rating and cut the price target on them to $293.70. It has concerns that rising COVID cases in the United States is hindering the plasma collections recovery.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Wednesday has been the Reliance share price following its strong half year update. It is up 7% at lunch. Going the other way, the worst performer has been the Fortescue share price with a decline of just over 6% following the pull back in the iron ore price.

James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of CSL Ltd. and Reliance Worldwide Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Reliance Worldwide Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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