The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was on form again last week and recorded a very strong gain. The benchmark index climbed 4.2% over the five days to end at 5998.69 points.
While most shares on the index pushed higher, some climbed more than most. Here’s why these were the best performers on the ASX 200 over the period:
The Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) share price was the best performer on the ASX 200 last week with a massive 36.5% gain. This was despite Chinese lithium prices falling to their lowest levels of the year last week amid lacklustre demand for the battery making ingredient. Pilbara Minerals is one of the most shorted shares on the ASX with short interest of 9.25%. I suspect some of its gains could have been down to short sellers buying shares to close their positions.
The Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX: URW) share price was on form for once and surged 28% higher last week. This appears to have been driven by optimism over the reopening of economies and bargain hunters taking advantage of a recent collapse in the shopping centre operator’s share price. Even after last week’s gain, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s shares are down 55% from their 52-week high.
The Adbri Ltd (ASX: ABC) share price was a strong performer last week with a 27.6% gain. The catalyst for this strong gain was the government announcing a $688 million HomeBuilder program to support the construction industry. This program will see Australians offered $25,000 grants to build a new home or start a major renovation. Adbri, previously known as Adelaide Brighton, looks well-placed to benefit as a building materials provider.
The Perenti Global Ltd (ASX: PRN) share price wasn’t far behind with a 23.5% gain last week. This was despite there being no news out of the mining services company. These latest gains mean that Perenti, formerly known as Ausdrill, has seen its shares rally 225% higher since dropping to a 52-week low in late March.
The Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd (ASX: BEN) share price caught the eye last week with a 19% gain. Investors were piling into banking shares again on the belief that the sector’s outlook was not as bad as first feared. The big four banks were also strong performers and played a key role in driving the ASX 200 higher.