Last week was a bit of a mixed one for the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO).
After an impressive start on New Year’s Eve, the benchmark index closed the week 0.6% lower than where it started at 5,619.4 points.
Not all shares dropped into the red, though. The best performers on the ASX 200 last week are listed below. Here’s why they were market beaters:
The Healius Ltd (ASX: HLS) share price was the best performer on the ASX 200 last week with a sizeable gain of 17.5%. The catalyst for this strong gain was an announcement out of Healius, previously known as Primary Health Care Limited (ASX: PRY), which revealed that it had received a non-binding indicative $3.25 cash per share acquisition proposal from Jangho Hong Kong Limited. The Healius board is not yet in a position to recommend it but is busy reviewing the offer.
The Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) share price was the next best performer on the index with a 12.8% gain. The lithium miner’s shares surged higher after making two major announcements. This included a funding package for the stage 2 expansion of its 100%-owned Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project in Western Australia to 5Mtpa. The other announcement related to the signing of a non-binding memorandum of understanding with South Korean partner POSCO to consider a larger than planned jointly owned chemical conversion facility to produce industry leading, high-grade hydroxide and carbonate products.
The Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) share price wasn’t far behind with a gain of 11.7%. Australian gold miners were on fire last week thanks to an appreciating gold price, market volatility, and the weakening of the Australian dollar. Fellow gold miners Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX: SAR) and Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) were strong performers as well, rising 11.2% and 6.9%, respectively, last week. This helped push the S&P/ASX All Ords Gold index a remarkable 8.5% higher during the period.
Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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 Scott Phillips.