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.