ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) midday update: CBA enters crypto market, AMP jumps

It has been a great day for the ASX 200…

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At lunch on Wednesday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on track to record a very strong gain. The benchmark index is currently up 1.4% to 7,425.4 points.

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

CBA enters crypto market

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) share price is pushing higher today amid improving investor sentiment. Also potentially giving the banking giant’s shares a boost was news that it is entering the crypto market. CBA will offer customers the ability to buy, sell and hold crypto assets, directly through the CommBank app. The pilot will start in the coming weeks, with CBA intending to progressively rollout more features to more customers in 2022.

AMP divestment

The AMP Ltd (ASX: AMP) share price is racing higher today after announcing the divestment of its 19.13% equity interest in Resolution Life Australasia (RLA). AMP has agreed to sell the stake to Resolution Life Group for a consideration of $524 million. The sale of the RLA holding will complete AMP’s exit from its former life insurance and mature business, AMP Life, which it sold to Resolution Life in 2020 for a total consideration of $3 billion. Management notes that the sale provides further flexibility ahead of its planned demerger of AMP Capital’s Private Markets business.

Lithium miners charge higher

One area of the market that is performing particularly positively on Wednesday is the lithium sector. The shares of Orocobre Limited (ASX: ORE) and Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) are among the best performers, rising strongly today. Investors appear optimistic that clean energy investment will be given a major boost at the COP26 meeting this week.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Wednesday has been the AMP share price with an 8% gain. This follows its divestment update. The worst performer has been the Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN) share price with a modest decline of just over 1%. This is despite there being no news out of the casino and resorts operator.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Orocobre Limited. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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