ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) midday update: Telstra buys Vita stores, Cochlear sinks

The ASX 200 index is ending the week in the red…

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At lunch on Friday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has failed to follow the lead of US markets and is dropping. The benchmark index is currently down 0.45% to 7,337.7 points.

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

Telstra buys stores from Vita

The Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) share price is edging higher today after it agreed to buy the Telstra retail stores operated by Vita Group Limited (ASX: VTG) for a cash consideration of $110 million. The telco giant will also acquire Vita’s Sprout business, leaving the retailer with just its Artisan Aesthetic Clinics business. Vita intends to return a good portion of the proceeds to shareholders as dividends.

Centuria Industrial’s shares sink

The Centuria Industrial Reit (ASX: CIP) share price is sinking today after returning from a trading halt. This morning the industrial property company announced the completion of an institutional placement which raised $300 million. These funds were raised at a 5.2% discount of $3.80 per new share. Centuria Industrial is raising funds to acquire eight freehold urban infill industrial assets for a total of $351.3 million.

Energy shares rise

One area of the ASX 200 that is performing positively today is the energy sector. For example, the shares of Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) are recording solid gains today after oil prices charged higher overnight. Traders were buying oil after growing fuel demand and a draw in U.S. crude inventories led to tight supplies.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Friday has been the Computershare Ltd (ASX: CPU) share price with a 5.5% gain. This is despite there being no news out of the share registry company. The worst performer on the ASX 200 has been the Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH) share price with a 5.5% decline. This follows news that the hearing solutions company has been hit with a patent infringement complaint.

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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. owns shares of and has recommended Cochlear Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Telstra Corporation Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Cochlear 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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