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…

The top ASX pick you've never heard of...

Top Motley Fool analysts just identified their #1 ASX pick for 2014, a small-cap stock that could be poised for big gains (and offers a fat, fully franked dividend!). Discover all the details now, including the name and code, in this FREE investment report, "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014."

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

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss a very important event! Chief Investment Advisor Scott Phillips and his team at Motley Fool Share Advisor are about to reveal their latest official stock recommendation. The premium “buy alert” will be unveiled to members and you can be among the first to act on the tip.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by – this is your chance to get in early!

Simply enter your email now to find out how you can get instant access.

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.