ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) midday update: Crown jumps, miners rally, Sonic sinks

At lunch on Thursday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on form again and pushing higher. The benchmark index …

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At lunch on Thursday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on form again and pushing higher. The benchmark index is currently up 0.5% to 7,477.5 points.

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

Crown shares jump on improved Blackstone offer

The Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN) share price is surging higher today after receiving an improved takeover offer from Blackstone. The private equity firm has lifted its offer from $12.50 cash per share to $13.10 cash per share. While the previous offer did “not represent compelling value for Crown shareholders” this time around the Crown Board believe it would be acceptable if it becomes binding. All eyes are now on Star Entertainment Group Ltd (ASX: SGR), which has been interested in a merger with Crown.

Sonic shares sink

The Sonic Healthcare Limited (ASX: SHL) share price is sinking today despite there being no news out of the healthcare company. However, as Sonic has been a huge winner from COVID testing, the shift to rapid antigen testing looks set to weigh on its performance in the coming months. There appear to be concerns that this could see it fall short of the market’s lofty expectations.

Mining shares rally

The mining sector has been on fire on Thursday thanks partly to a broker note out of Goldman Sachs. Its analysts spoke very positively about the sector’s outlook and shares including South32 Ltd (ASX: S32) (here) and Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC) (here). Both mining shares are charging notably higher at lunch.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Thursday has been the Crown share price with an 8% gain following Blackstone’s takeover offer. Going the other way, the PolyNovo Ltd (ASX: PNV) share price is the worst performer with a 6.5% decline. This appears to have been driven by profit taking after a very strong gain on Wednesday following the release of a trading update.

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