ASX 200 up 0.55%: Challenger jumps, Nanosonics sinks

The ASX 200 is back on form on Wednesday…

| More on:
A share market investment manager monitors share price movements on his mobile phone and laptop

Image source: Getty Images

At lunch on Wednesday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has overcome a soft start and is charging higher. The benchmark index is currently up 0.55% to 7,302 points.

Here’s what is happening on the market today:

Challenger shares jump on investment news

The Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF) share price is racing higher today after announcing a new major shareholder. According to the release, leading US-based retirement services company Athene has agreed to acquire a 15% minority interest in Challenger from Caledonia (Private) Investments. Athene paid $6.00 per share, which represents a premium of 9.7% to Challenger’s last close price. It sees attractive long-term opportunities in partnering with and supporting Challenger’s continued growth.

Nanosonics shares sink on broker downgrade

The Nanosonics Ltd (ASX: NAN) share price is sinking on Wednesday after being the subject of a bearish broker note out of Goldman Sachs. According to the note, the broker has downgraded the infection prevention company’s shares to a sell rating and cut the price target on them to $4.93. Goldman made the move after reducing its earnings estimates on the belief that the growth recovery may be shallower than its previous expectations. It also warned that there could be competitive risks from new technologies.

Tech shares storm higher

A number of tech shares are recording strong gains on Wednesday following a positive night of trade on the tech-focused Nasdaq index. The likes of Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) and Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) are trading notably higher, helping to drive the S&P/ASX All Technology Index (ASX: XTX) up a sizeable 2.3% at lunch.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Wednesday has been the Challenger share price with a 10% gain. This follows news that Athene has acquired a 15% stake in the annuities company. The worst performer has been the Nanosonics share price with a 6% decline following its broker downgrade. After which, the next worst performer is the Oil Search Ltd (ASX: OSH) share price with a decline of over 3%. This follows a sharp pullback in oil prices overnight.

Wondering where you should invest $1,000 right now?

When investing expert Scott Phillips has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the flagship Motley Fool Share Advisor newsletter he has run for more than eight years has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.*

Scott just revealed what he believes could be the five best ASX stocks for investors to buy right now. These stocks are trading at near dirt-cheap prices and Scott thinks they could be great buys right now.

*Returns as of August 16th 2021

Motley Fool contributor 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 and has recommended AFTERPAY T FPO, Nanosonics Limited, and ZIPCOLTD FPO. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended AFTERPAY T FPO, Challenger Limited, and Nanosonics Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

More on Share Market News