ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) midday update: Afterpay-Block deal approved, Fortescue downgraded

The ASX 200 is having a better day on Wednesday…

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At lunch on Wednesday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has bounced back and is charging higher. The benchmark index is currently up 0.85% to 7,453 points.

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

Afterpay-Block takeover approval

The Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) share price is charging higher today after the Bank of Spain approved Block’s takeover of the buy now pay later provider. This means the deal can now complete and Afterpay’s shares will be suspended from trade next week. They will then be replaced with ASX-listed Block CDIs which will trade under the SQ2 ticker code.

Fortescue shares downgraded

The Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) share price is falling on Wednesday. This follows the release of a broker note out of Citi which revealed that it has downgraded the mining giant’s shares to a sell rating with a $17.20 price target. The broker made the move largely on valuation grounds.

Liontown offtake agreement

The Liontown Resources Limited (ASX: LTR) share price was up as much as 13% this morning after returning from its trading halt. This was driven by the announcement of the lithium developer’s first offtake agreement. Liontown will supply one of the world’s premier battery manufacturers, LG Energy Solution (LGES), with 150,000 dry metric tonnes (dmt) per annum of spodumene concentrate when production commences at Kathleen Valley. This is almost a third of its start up production.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 today has been the Nickel Mines Ltd (ASX: NIC) share price with a 6.5% gain. This follows a strong rise in the nickel price overnight. It rose 5.5% to US$21,986 per tonne. Going the other way, the worst performer has been the Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd (ASX: DMP) share price with a 3% decline following an update from its parent in the US.

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 Afterpay Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns and has recommended Afterpay Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Dominos Pizza Enterprises 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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