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5 stocks reaching 52-week highs

Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) shares touched a 52-week high of $105.54 in early trade today, a 22% price increase over the past year. Macquarie is riding high as the group is heavily exposed to overseas economies like the United States and Europe, which have lately outperformed our local market. Macquarie last reported it generated 62% of total income from outside of Australia.

The Macquarie share price has continued to trend higher in January, even as the Australian dollar surged to an almost three-year high against the US greenback. Macquarie estimates that a 10% movement in the Australian will have a 6% impact on group net profit after tax.

Treasury Wine Estates Ltd (ASX: TWE) shares rebounded 16% in mid-January to reach all-time highs over $17. The Treasury share price had been on a downward trend down towards $14.50 before the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was revived and a favourable industry export report was released.

The Wine Australia report showed Australian companies enjoyed record wine exports in terms of both volume and sales in 2017, driven by strong Chinese demand.

Medibank Private Ltd (ASX: MPL) shares hit a record high on Thursday following the private health insurer’s announcement that it would increase premiums across its products by an average 3.88%. Medibank has been a solid performer after the federal government floated the stock in late 2014; the company’s share price rising 50% since listing.

With healthcare costs rising each year, it makes sense that the increased burden should be shared amongst all industry stakeholders, which also includes the hospital operators, government and patients. However, I’m not convinced the private health insurers are doing their bit as Medibank and others raise premiums by more than twice the rate of inflation. With Australian wage growth low and interest rate hikes on the horizon, Medibank may be forced to re-think their premium margins.

Milk and infant formula business A2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M) has been one of the best performing stocks on the ASX for the last three years, and the company reached new highs last week. After trading in a range around $7.50 since October, A2 Milk broke above $8.50 following a profit upgrade from competitor Bellamy’s Australia Ltd (ASX: BAL).

MFF Capital Investments Ltd (ASX: MFF) is a listed investment company (LIC) benefiting from the rise in overseas equities, predominantly in the United States. MFF’s major investments include Visa, Mastercard and Home Depot, and the LIC’s share price has increased 20% over the last three months.

A lower Australian dollar relative to the US currency would also push MFF’s share price higher, so now could be an opportune time to look at shares in this high-performing investor, if you expect the Australian currency to weaken.

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Motley Fool contributor Ian Crane owns shares of Magellan Flagship Fund Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of A2 Milk. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Treasury Wine Estates Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. 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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