ASX 200 midday update: Crown-Star merger talks end, Evolution jumps

Here’s what’s happening on the ASX 200 on Friday…

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At lunch on Friday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has fought back from an early decline and is trading broadly flat. The ASX 200 is currently trading at 7,388.5 points.

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

Crown-Star merger talks end

The Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN) share price is trading lower today after Star Entertainment Group Ltd (ASX: SGR) revealed that it is walking away from takeover talks with its rival. Although Star remains interested in a potential merger, it notes that there is too much uncertainty at present. Particularly given concerns that Crown could lose its Melbourne casino licence.

Evolution completes institutional placement

The Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) share price is charging higher today after returning from its trading halt. This follows the completion of its $400 million institutional placement to fund the acquisition of the Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) assets in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. Credit Suisse responded positively to the news, upgrading its shares to an outperform rating with a $4.70 price target.

IAG results disappoint

The Insurance Australia Group Ltd (ASX: IAG) share price is under a spot of pressure today after its preliminary full year results fell short of expectations. The insurance giant revealed that it expects gross written premium (GWP) growth of 3.8% and cash earnings of $747 million. This compares to Goldman Sachs’ estimates of GWP growth of 4% and a cash profit of $764 million.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Friday has been the Evolution share price with a 5% gain. This follows a positive reaction to its acquisition announcement. The worst performer on the ASX 200 has been the Silver Lake Resources Limited (ASX: SLR) share price with a 10% decline. Investors have been selling the gold miner’s shares following the release of its quarterly update.

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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. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Insurance Australia Group 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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