ASX 200 up 0.65%: BHP & Rio higher, energy shares jump

It’s been a positive for the ASX 200 so far…

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At lunch on Wednesday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is back on form and charging higher. The benchmark index is currently up 0.65% to 7,189.2 points.

Here’s what is happening on the market today:

Mining giants rise again

It has been another positive day for mining giants BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP), Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG), and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO). All three miners are on the charge again today and helping to drive the ASX 200 index higher. These gains have been driven by another rise in the iron ore price. According to Metal Bulletin, the spot iron ore price has broken through the US$200 level and is up 4.9% to US$208.67 a tonne.

Codan offloads Minetec business

The Codan Limited (ASX: CDA) share price is trading lower today after announcing the sale of its Minetech business. According to the release, the electronic products company is selling the business to Caterpillar Australia for $14 million. Minetec provides unique high-precision tracking, productivity and safety solutions for underground hard-rock mines. This technology allows miners to visualise the whole mine in order to optimise productivity and enhance safety. The company’s Board concluded that Codan was not the best owner and therefore the decision was made to sell the business to Caterpillar.

Energy shares push higher

It has been a very positive day for the energy sector. Leading energy producers such as Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) are all pushing higher today after oil prices hit two-year highs overnight. Traders were bidding oil prices higher after OPEC and its allies reconfirmed plans to increase production gradually. The oil cartel also spoke positively about demand.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Wednesday has been the Santos share price with a gain of 4.5%. This follows a rise in oil prices overnight. The worst performer has been the Ansell Limited (ASX: ANN) share price with a 3% decline. This is despite there being no news out of the safety products company.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Ansell Ltd. 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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