ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) midday update: AMP shoots higher, travel shares rise

Here’s what is happening on the ASX 200 on Christmas Eve…

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At lunch on Christmas Eve, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on course to end the week in a very positive fashion. The benchmark index is currently up 0.6% to 7,429.1 points.

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

AMP shares shoot higher

The AMP Ltd (ASX: AMP) share price has been a strong performer today after announcing a divestment from its private markets business, PrivateMarketsCo. AMP has entered into a binding agreement to sell its infrastructure debt platform to Ares Holdings for a total cash consideration of $428 million. The agreement follows PrivateMarketsCo’s strategic decision to focus on managing equity investments in real estate and infrastructure.

Rio Tinto to pause Serbian lithium plans

The Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) share price is pushing higher today despite reports that it will pause its Jadar project in Serbia due to community protests. Protestors have been hitting the streets to voice concerns about its environmental impact. This would be a blow for Rio Tinto given how it believes Jadar could be one of the world’s largest greenfield lithium projects.

Travel shares rise

Corporate Travel Management Ltd (ASX: CTD) and Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) shares are rising on Friday. This appears to have been driven by news that Australians will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster shot four months after their second vaccine from January 4. This will be reduced to three months at the end of January. Companies benefiting from COVID-19 testing such as Sonic Healthcare Limited (ASX: SHL) are underperforming the ASX 200 on the news.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Friday has been the AMP share price with a 7% gain following its divestment announcement. The worst performer has been the Reliance Worldwide Corporation Ltd (ASX: RWC) share price with a 2% decline on no news.

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 and has recommended Reliance Worldwide Corporation Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Corporate Travel Management Limited, Reliance Worldwide Corporation Limited, Sonic Healthcare 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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