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ASX200 trades lower; Flight Centre expands tech offering; Rio Tinto acquires the Rincon lithium project.

  • The ASX200 is trading 0.23% lower at 7337.90 points after lunchtime.
  • Flight Centre acquires Texas-based Compli.ai and browser extension, Shep.
  • Rio Tinto acquires the Rincon lithium project in Argentina for US$825m.

The Australian market has fallen from a morning rally to trade 0.23% lower after lunchtime at 7337.90 points as a sell-off in gold stocks weighs down the key index. Travel stocks are also taking a hit today as COVID-19 cases surge on the east coast, with NSW recording another daily record above 3000 new cases.

The tech sector continues to rally today, trading more than 1.6% higher after lunchtime led by Afterpay surging 5.4%, Life360 Inc adding 2.16% and Wisetech Global trading 1.7% higher.

Bitcoin is trading 4.52% higher over the last 24-hours at US$49,043.02 at 1:30pm AEDT.

Flight Centre shares are trading lower today amid a broad travel stock sell-off, however the travel agent announced it has acquired Texas-based Compli.ai and its browser extension, Shep, in a bid to strengthen its tech offering. The acquisition will help Flight Centre ‘deliver a globally consistent look and customer experience on the FCM platform, while maintaining all-important flexibility’. Shep’s software will allow Flight Centre to put its own content and augment the user experience on third party websites.

Making headlines, Rio Tinto shares are lower today despite the metals and mining giant announcing the acquisition of the Rincon lithium project in Argentina from Rincon Mining for US$825m to accelerate its lithium push. The acquisition ‘demonstrates Rio Tinto’s commitment to build its battery materials business and strengthen its portfolio for the global energy transition’.

And the Squid Game ‘Dalgona Challenge’ involving cutting out shapes from a thin piece of honeycomb, has been named as the most viral food challenge of 2021.

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