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These were the best performers on the ASX 200 last week

Last week the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was on form and recorded a very strong 1.6% gain to end the period at 5942.6 points.

While the majority of shares on the index pushed higher, some climbed more than most. Here’s why these shares were the best performers on the ASX 200 over the period:

The Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX: CUV) share price was the best performer on the ASX 200 last week with a 21.3% gain. This was despite there being no news out of the biopharmaceutical company over the period. However, its shares have been on a strong upward trend over the last three months. So much so, they have almost doubled in value since this time in March. Despite this strong rise, Clinuvel remains one of the most shorted shares on the ASX.

The Healius Ltd (ASX: HLS) share price wasn’t far behind with a gain of 19.8%. Investors were buying the healthcare company’s shares last week after it announced the sale of Healius Primary Care, its medical centres business, to BGH Capital for $500 million. Management advised that the proceeds will be used for investments and to pay down debt.

The Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) share price was a very strong performer last week with a 14.7% gain. This gain appears to have been driven by a broker note out of Macquarie. According to the note, the broker has initiated coverage on the artificial intelligence company with an outperform rating and $38.00 price target. Macquarie believes that Appen’s Relevance segment is well placed for long term growth. Appen’s shares ended the week at $33.83.

The Viva Energy Group Ltd (ASX: VEA) share price wasn’t far behind with a 14.2% gain. Last week the fuel retailer released a trading update which included better than expected guidance for the first half. Viva Energy expects its underlying net profit after tax (on a replacement cost basis) to be in the broad range of $20 million to $50 million. This was notably higher than the consensus estimates and led to a number of brokers upgrading their price targets.

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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 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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