ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) midday update: Lithium miners jump, Flight Centre tumbles

The ASX 200 has started the week in the red…

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At lunch on Monday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on course to start the week with a decline. The benchmark index is currently down 0.35% to 7,370 points.

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

AMP shares rise on update

The AMP Ltd (ASX: AMP) share price is rising today after the financial services company confirmed it will continue to manage its $7 billion office fund. According to the release, after hearing advice from an independent advisory committee, the trustee board of AMP Capital Wholesale Office Fund (AWOF) decided AMP can keep hold of the fund.

Lithium miners jump

It has been a good start to the week for lithium miners such as Orocobre Limited (ASX: ORE) and Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS). Both lithium shares are outperforming today, potentially due to a bullish broker note out of Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG). The broker has retained its equivalent of buy ratings on these shares due to the positive outlook for battery making ingredients.

Travel shares fall

The travel sector has been performing particularly poorly today. This appears to have been driven by rising COVID-19 cases in the US and Europe, which has led to some countries locking back down again. The likes of Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) and Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) are among the hardest hit on Monday.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Monday has been the Nickel Mines Ltd (ASX: NIC) share price with a 6.5% gain. This follows the announcement of a memorandum of understanding which secures the next phase of the nickel producer’s growth. The worst performer has been the Flight Centre share price with a 4.5% decline following weakness in the travel sector.

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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 recommended Flight Centre Travel Group Limited, Macquarie Group Limited, and Webjet 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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