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These were the best performing shares on the ASX 200 last week

Last week the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) continued its strong run and pushed a further 105 points or 1.8% higher to 5879.6 points.

Whilst this was a solid gain, it was nothing in comparison to some of the gains that were made on the benchmark index over the period.

The best performing shares on the index last week are listed below. Here’s why they outperformed:

The Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (ASX: APT) share price rocketed 19% higher last week. The majority of this gain came on Friday when the payment solutions company released a global business update. Following a record month in December, underlying sales in the first half were up 140% on the prior corresponding period to $2.2 billion. The company also advised that the Afterpay platform delivered further strong growth in the United States, with underlying sales growing to $260 million in the first half. This compares to underlying sales of around $115 million at the end of October. Fellow tech share Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) wasn’t far behind with a 13% gain for the week.

The Syrah Resources Ltd (ASX: SYR) share price was the next best performer on the ASX 200 with a 14.5% gain. Investors were fighting to get hold of the graphite miner’s shares after it announced the declaration of commercial production at its Balama graphite operation in Mozambique. The Syrah board determined that the criteria to achieve commercial production was met on January 1. In addition to this, the company provided an update on its production performance during the fourth quarter of calendar year 2018. In the fourth quarter the company achieved natural graphite production of 33kt, which brought its full year production in line with its guidance at 104kt.

The Navitas Limited (ASX: NVT) share price was an impressive performer with a 13.5% gain. The catalyst for this gain was news that the education services provider has received another takeover approach from the BGH Consortium. The Consortium has made a new offer of $5.825 cash per share, up from the $5.50 cash per share offer that was rejected last year. This time around the Navitas board has unanimously recommended the proposal, subject to no superior proposal emerging and an independent expert concluding that the proposal is in the best interests of shareholders.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO and Appen Ltd. 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.

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