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The ASX is climbing, but it’s not too late to buy shares

With the exception of Tuesday’s 0.1% fall, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) rose every day last week to record a gain of 1% for the five trading days, despite persisting concerns regarding volatility in China.

Investor confidence remained intact with the Reserve Bank of Australia electing to keep interest rates on hold for another month while a surge in iron ore prices also provided a much-needed burst of energy for the miners. BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP), the world’s largest diversified miner, was one of the biggest winners with its stock rallying 3.4% thanks in large part to reports that it is considering a $20 to $22 billion demerger of its non-core assets. Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) also rose 0.8% and 2.1% respectively.

The index remained relatively flat on Friday, rising just 0.2%. Here are some of the week’s strongest performers:

  • Junior miner Oz Minerals Limited (ASX: OZL) rose an impressive 11.4%
  • Maverick Drilling and Exploration Limited (ASX: MAD) gained 13.9%
  • The out of favour Codan Limited (ASX: CDA) returned to investors’ radar, rising 7.1% for the week thanks to a 12.5% gain on Friday
  • APN News and Media Limited (ASX: APN) soared 14.3%
  • Mining services group Ausdrill Limited (ASX: ASL) returned 8%
  • OrotonGroup Limited (ASX: ORL) received an 8.7% boost
  • Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (ASX: FOX) appreciated 6.4%

There were also a number of companies that were not as fortunate as those mentioned above:

  • Shareholders of Prana Biotechnology Limited (ASX: PBT) are feeling the most pain with their shares plunging 76%
  • Ten Network Holdings Ltd (ASX: TEN) saw its shares fall another 7.4%
  • Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX: LYC) dropped 9.3%
  • After reaping enormous gains in recent months, G8 Education Ltd (ASX: GEM) retreated 7.7%, presenting investors with a good opportunity to buy
  • iSelect Ltd (ASX: ISU) plummeted 8.3%
  • Goodman Fielder Ltd (ASX: GFF) sank 17.6%
  • Mineral Deposits Limited (ASX: MDL) fell 9.1%

Foolish takeaway

Although the stock market can be a painful place, enormous gains can also be recognised, as can be seen from the week’s top performers. The good news is there are still a number of companies just waiting to take off…

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.

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