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ASX 200 Weekly Wrap: ASX bulls crash through 6,000 points

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) continued its recent form with another stunning lot of gains last week. The ASX 200 capped off its sixth week of straight gains with a 4.2% surge last week, which (briefly) pushed the index over the psychologically-important (although practically irrelevant) 6,000 point threshold on two occasions over Thursday and Friday.

Although the ASX 200 didn’t end up finishing over the 6,000 point mark on Friday afternoon, it’s still a momentous milestone in this new ASX bull run we have seen over the past two months. The ASX 200 is still around 16% off its all-time highs that we saw in February – but also more than 30% above the lows we saw in March. Perhaps it’s a goldilocks rally for investors right now; not too hot, not too cold.

Almost every sector on the ASX was in the green last week, but it was once again the ASX blue chips that provided the momentum. All 4 of the major ASX banks were up big last week, as were other blue chips like Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) and Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES). ASX miners like BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) also continued their recent run of good form.

And it wasn’t just ASX 200 shares that were in party mode last week. The Aussie dollar had one of its best weeks in recent times, smashing through the US70 cent mark for the first time since early January.

Coronavirus success drives ASX 200 shares

The main factors behind this rapid recovery in ASX 200 shares seem to be the ongoing success story that is the Australian and New Zealand response to the coronavirus pandemic. Restrictions continue to ease, and New Zealand announced over the weekend that it is now ‘COVID-free’ for the first time since the pandemic began.

ASX travel shares such as Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) were standout performers during the week as speculation mounted that Qantas would be able to return to 40% of its domestic pre-pandemic flight levels by the end of July. As such, most ASX travel stocks had a great week, with Qantas shares up more than 16% by Friday’s close.

How did the markets end the week?

In spectacular fashion, to put it lightly. The ASX 200 opened the week at the symmetrically pleasing 5,755.7 points and closed on Friday at 5,998.7 points – a weekly gain of 4.22%.

We had a clean run of gains last week, with a 5-day winning streak propelling the ASX 200 to its current high. Monday and Wednesday were by far the strongest days, with a 1% and 1.8% gain respectively. Tuesday saw 0.3% up, whilst Thursday gave us 0.8%. Friday was threatening a loss for a while but squeezed out a 0.1% gain to leave us on the precipice of 6,000 points as we start a short week this week.

Meanwhile, the All Ordinaries (INDEXASX: XAO) also had a great week, starting off at 5,872.2 and finishing up at 6,116.5 points for a weekly gain of 4.16%.

Which ASX 200 shares were the biggest winners and losers?

Let’s see which ASX 200 shares were the biggest winners and losers on the week’s Foolish gossip pages. As always, let’s start with the losers:

Worst ASX 200 losers

 % loss for the week

Gold Road Resources Ltd (ASX: GOR)

(14.36%)

Nufarm Limited (ASX: NUF)

(8.7%)

Pro Medicus Limited (ASX: PME)

(8%)

TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPM)

(7.2%)

Gold Road Resources claims this week’s wooden spoon with a near-15% loss. ASX gold miners were smashed across the board last week as the price of the yellow metal drifted below US$1,700 an ounce. Gold can be a favoured asset in troubled times, but positive investor sentiment and increased appetite for risk often see the precious metal left at the altar.

Joining the pity party was Nufarm. Investors have been less than impressed with this chemical manufacturer company of late and sent the shares packing again this week. Perhaps, over concerns, that the company will struggle in a post-COVID world. NUF said.

An interesting and rare appearance by TPG Telecom in the ASX 200 losers column is also worth a mention this week. TPG shares have had a stellar year after its Vodafone merger was approved and the company announced plans of a special dividend for its patient investors a few weeks ago. It’s likely that there were a few investors keen to get some profits off the table last week, as the shares are still up ~17% year to date.

Now the losers have been put out of their misery, let’s have a look at last week’s winners:

Best ASX 200 gainers

 % gain for the week

Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS)

38.49%

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX: URW)

31.5%

Adbri Ltd (ASX: ABC)

27.57%

Perenti Global Ltd (ASX: PRN)

23.53%

Leading the winners last week was lithium miner Pilbara, whose shares shot up an incredible 38.49% last week, with a 22.41% gain on Friday. Despite this dramatic move, there was no real news out of the company last week. This suggests the possibility that a major ASX fundie bet big on Pilbara last week or, perhaps, a major short-seller cashed out their position. Either way, Pilbara shareholders had a nice start to their long weekend.

Also making the list was Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. This shopping centre operator has benefitted from rising sentiment in recent weeks as shopping centres start to reopen after coronavirus-induced lockdowns.

What is this week looking like for the ASX 200?

It’s looking like another great week for ASX 200 shares this week. New Zealand’s exciting announcement over the weekend that the country has successfully beaten back the coronavirus might give the ASX 200 another boost. Over in the United States, the sentiment is also riding high. Friday night saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average rise more than 3% to crash through 27,000 points for the first time since early March. The US markets have a huge hand in directing our own ASX, so this is likely to add to the goodwill sloshing around Aussie markets if continued.

Before we go, here’s how the ASX 200 blue chips are looking at the dawn of a new week:

ASX 200 company

Trailing P/E ratio

Last share price

52-week high

52-week low

CSL Limited (ASX: CSL)

44.49

$285.33

$342.75

$201.49

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA)

12.47

$68.73

$91.05

$53.44

Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC)

14.10

$18.79

$30.05

$13.47

National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB)

17.48

$19.48

$30.00

$13.20

Australia and New Zealand Banking GrpLtd (ASX: ANZ)

13.46

$19.77

$28.95

$14.10

Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW)

18.45

$37.06

$43.96

$31.13

Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES)

21.63

$41.71

$47.42

$29.75

BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP)

13.59

$36.33

$42.33

$24.05

Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO)

14.03

$98.60

$107.94

$72.77

Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL)

17.73

$15.76

$18.09

$12.65

Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS)

18.58

$3.22

$4.01

$2.87

Transurban Group (ASX: TCL)

173.63

$14.68

$16.44

$9.10

Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD)

36.22

$6.48

$9.30

$4.37

Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM)

27.79

$29.05

$38.87

$20.70

Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL)

44.24

$23.36

$37.50

$14.93

Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG)

13.88

$118.00

$152.35

$70.45

And finally, here is the lay of the land for some leading market indicators:

  •     S&P/ASX 200 (XJO) at 5,998.7 points
  •     All Ordinaries (XAO) at 6,116.5 points
  •     Dow Jones Industrial Average at 27,110.98 points
  •     Gold (Spot) swapping hands for US$1,683.65 per troy ounce
  •     Iron ore asking US$100.26 per tonne
  •     Crude oil (Brent) trading at US$42.3 per barrel
  •     Crude oil (WTI) going for US$39.55 per barrel
  •     Australian dollar buying 69.68 US cents
  •    10-year Australian Government bonds yielding 1.09% per annum

Foolish takeaway

Whilst I’m as glad as the next investor to see such strong sentiment on the share market, I’m also not ready to call the end of the volatility that 2020 has brought in spades for ASX 200 shares. Sure, the markets have just notched up five straight weeks of gains with a sixth seemingly already in the spout. But I still think a prudent and cautious approach toward these new highs is certainly warranted.

But until we know for sure with the full benefits of hindsight, stay safe, stay rational and stay Foolish!

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Sebastian Bowen owns shares of National Australia Bank Limited, Newcrest Mining Limited, and Telstra Limited. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of CSL Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. recommends Pro Medicus Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Macquarie Group Limited, Pro Medicus Ltd., and Telstra Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of COLESGROUP DEF SET, Transurban Group, Wesfarmers Limited, and Woolworths 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 Scott Phillips.

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