ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) midday update: BHP and Rio Tinto fall, Qantas higher

It has been another busy day on the ASX 200…

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At lunch on Friday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has fought back from a poor start and is edging higher. The benchmark index is currently up 0.1% to 7,421.2 points.

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

Mining giants drag on ASX 200

One area of the market which is acting as a drag on the ASX 200 is the resources sector. The likes of BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP), Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG), and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) are all trading lower. This appears to have been driven by weakness in the iron ore price overnight. According to Metal Bulletin, the spot 62% fines iron ore price dropped 5.8% to US$116.93 a tonne.

Qantas ramps up international travel plans

The Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) share price is rising after ramping up its international travel plans. Both Qantas and Jetstar will bring forward the restart of more international flights to popular destinations from Sydney. Qantas made the decision in response to the Federal and New South Wales governments confirming that international borders would reopen from 1 November. All Qantas and Jetstar workers based in Australia and New Zealand who are currently stood down are expected to return to work by early December.

Aurizon shares fall on acquisition plans

The Aurizon Holdings Ltd (ASX: AZJ) share price is sinking after announcing a major acquisition. According to the release, the rail freight operator has signed an agreement with Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) subsidiary Macquarie Asset Management to acquire One Rail Australia for $2.35 billion. Management believes the One Rail acquisition is highly strategic and transformative for Aurizon. It appears as though the market isn’t convinced with the deal.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 has been the Nuix Ltd (ASX: NXL) share price with a 5% gain after announcing the appointment of its new CEO. The worst performer has been the Lynas Rare Earths Ltd (ASX: LYC) share price with an 8% decline. This follows the release of a disappointing quarterly update this morning.

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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 recommended Nuix Pty Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Macquarie Group Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Aurizon Holdings 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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