ASX 200 midday update: NAB completes acquisition, lithium miners sink, Origin tumbles

There’s a lot happening on the ASX 200 today…

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At lunch on Wednesday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on course to start the month with a small gain. The benchmark index is currently up 0.2% to 7,225.9 points.

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

NAB completes Citi acquisition

The National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) share price is rising on Wednesday after the bank announced the completion of its $1.2 billion acquisition of Citigroup’s Australian consumer business. This acquisition includes a home lending portfolio, unsecured lending business (operating under the Citigroup brand as well as white label partner brands), retail deposits business, and private wealth management business.

Lithium miners tumble

The lithium sector is a sea of red on Wednesday. This follows bearish notes out of Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs and news that Argentina has set a lithium reference price of US$53 per kilo. In respect to the former, as we covered here last month, Goldman has reiterated its view that lithium prices will fall heavily in the coming years. The likes of Allkem Ltd (ASX: AKE) and Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) are falling particularly heavily today.

Origin withdraws guidance

The Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG) share price is sinking today after the energy giant withdrew its earnings guidance. Due largely to coal supply challenges, Origin now expects its energy markets’ underlying EBITDA to be between $310 million and $460 million. Previously, it was expecting $450 million to $600 million of earnings. And with management unsure how long these tough trading conditions will last, it has withdrawn its FY 2023 guidance.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Wednesday has been the Nufarm Ltd (ASX: NUF) share price with a 2.5% gain. This appears to have been driven by bargain hunters buying shares after a recent decline. The worst performer has been the Pilbara Minerals share price with a 15% decline. This follows the bearish broker notes and Argentina news.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has positions in Allkem 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 no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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