ASX 200 midday update: Afterpay & Zip sink, Orocobre rises on broker upgrade

A lot is happening on the ASX 200 on Wednesday…

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At lunch on Wednesday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is defying weakness on Wall Street by pushing higher. The benchmark index is currently up 0.35% to 7,358.4 points.

Here’s what is happening on the ASX 200 today:

Afterpay sinks amid reports Apple to enter BNPL market

The shares of Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) and Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) are sinking on Wednesday amid speculation that Apple is going to enter the buy now pay later (BNPL) market. Bloomberg understands that the upcoming service, known internally as Apple Pay Later, will allow consumers to pay for any Apple Pay purchase in instalments. The tech giant will use Goldman Sachs as the lender for the instalment loans.

NAB higher on Citi interest

The National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) share price is edging higher today after it confirmed reports that it is interested in acquiring the Australian Consumer business of Citigroup. NAB advised that it is in discussions with Citi but warned that there is no certainty these discussions will lead to a transaction. A price of $2 billion is expected to be required to snare the business.

Orocobre shares upgraded

The Orocobre Limited (ASX: ORE) share price is rising on Wednesday. This follows the release of a broker note out of Ord Minnett this morning. According to the note, the broker has upgraded the lithium miner’s shares to a buy rating with an $8.45 price target. It believes the company is well-positioned to benefit from favourable lithium prices, particularly if its merger with Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX: GXY) completes successfully.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Wednesday has been the Blackmores Limited (ASX: BKL) share price with a 3.5% gain. This is despite there being no news out of the health supplements company. The worst performer on the ASX 200 has been the Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) share price with a 9% decline. This follows speculation of Apple’s entry into the BNPL market.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Galaxy Resources Limited. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended AFTERPAY T FPO and ZIPCOLTD FPO. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended AFTERPAY T FPO and Blackmores 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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