ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) midday update: Block, Zip tumble, QBE's asset sale

The ASX 200 is having a day to forget again…

A stressed businessman in a suit shirt and trousers sits next to his briefcase with his head in his hands while the ASX boards behind him show BNPL shares crashing

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At lunch on Friday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on course to end the week deep in the red. The benchmark index is currently down 1.7% to 7,030.8 points.

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

Tech shares tumble

The tech sector is weighing heavily on the ASX 200 on Friday. At the time of writing, the S&P/ASX All Technology Index is down a sizeable 4.1% due to heavy declines from the likes of Block Inc (ASX: SQ2) and Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P). This follows a poor night of trade on the tech-focused Nasdaq index and futures contracts pointing to more of the same tonight.

CSL lower despite acquisition update

The CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) share price is falling on Friday despite the release of an update out of the biotherapeutics giant. That update reveals that its proposed acquisition of Vifor Pharma for ~$17 billion has taken a step closer to completion. This follows news that 74% of Vifor shares have been tendered following CSL's offer. If everything else goes to plan, management expects the transaction to complete in mid-2022.

QBE asset sale

QBE Insurance Group Ltd (ASX: QBE) has announced a deal to sell its Westwood Insurance Agency business in the United States. The insurance giant has entered into an agreement that will see the business sold to Baldwin Risk Partners for $375 million. Westwood is a leading national full service personal lines agency, specialising in builder sourced homeowners' insurance.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Friday has been the Incitec Pivot Ltd (ASX: IPL) share price with a modest 1% gain. This appears to have been driven by the prospect of higher urea/ammonia prices due to the Russia-Ukraine crisis. The worst performer has been the Zip share price with an 11% decline amid weakness in the tech sector.

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 Block, Inc., CSL Ltd., and ZIPCOLTD FPO. The Motley Fool Australia owns and has recommended Block, Inc. 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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