ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) midday update: Pilbara Minerals jumps, Whitehaven Coal sinks

It has been a good day for the ASX 200…

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At lunch on Thursday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on course to record a solid gain. The benchmark index is currently up 0.7% to 7,259.3 points.

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

Pilbara Minerals update

The Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) share price is pushing higher today following the release of an update on its Ngungaju Plant. According to the release, the lithium miner has now started the commissioning of the plant after a period in care and maintenance. The company expects production to increase to approximately 180,000 to 200,000 dry metric tonnes (dmt) from mid-2022 onward.

Collins Foods strikes KFC Netherlands deal

The Collins Foods Ltd (ASX: CKF) share price has been a strong performer on Thursday. Its shares are hurtling higher after announcing an agreement with KFC Europe. According to the release, Collins Foods will become KFC’s corporate franchisee in the Netherlands. This means Collins Foods has the rights to develop, manage, market, support, and operate the KFC business in the country. The agreement provides a framework for the development of up to 130 new KFC restaurants over a 10-year period.

Qube falls on ACCC news

The Qube Holdings Ltd (ASX: QUB) share price is trading lower today after the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) announced that it is investigating the company’s acquisition of the Newcastle Agri Terminal. The regulator will be looking into Qube’s potential to engage in anti-competitive behaviour, such as bundling storage, handling, and transport with terminal services. It also has concerns with Qube’s ability to discriminate against its rivals.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Thursday has been the Super Retail Group Ltd (ASX: SUL) share price with a 7% gain. This morning UBS upgraded the retailer’s shares to a buy rating with a $13.50 price target. The worst performer has been the Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC) share price with a 6.5% decline. According to CommSec, overnight the thermal coal price fell 10.2% to US$242.00 per tonne.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Collins Foods Limited. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended Super Retail Group Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Super Retail Group Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Collins Foods 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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