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ASX 200 Weekly Wrap: Afterpay, Tech push ASX 200 back above 6,000

Last week, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) managed to shake off its jitters and push decisively back above the 6,000 point threshold.

It was a stunning week for ASX shares. Gains were enjoyed by blue chips and small caps alike, but it was growth shares in the tech and payments space that really stole the show. As it usually is these days, Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) was in the hot seat. Afterpay shares had yet another resoundingly successful week, rising by more than 18% to print a succession of new all-time highs. The Afterpay share price was trading at $67.50 on Friday afternoon after rising as high as $70 (the new highwater mark) earlier in the day. Since Afterpay reached lows of $8.01 in late March, the shares have now soared more than 742%, truly extraordinary stuff for a 3-month period. At this rate, Afterpay is now looking at membership of the exclusive ASX 20 club — unthinkable just a few months ago.

Afterpay and ASX tech shares push ASX 200 higher

The ASX 200 is now at a 3-week high and back above the psychologically important 6,000 point mark, which it briefly breached in early June before getting cold feet.

It wasn’t just Afterpay that was inducing giddiness in the markets last week though. Xero Limited (ASX: XRO) managed a new all-time high on Friday ($93.26 to be precise), and was also joined intra-day by Nextdc Ltd (ASX: NXT) at $11.12 and Temple & Webster Group Ltd (ASX: TPW) at $7.59.

Illustrating just how much tech shares were influencing the broader market last week, take note of how the S&P/ASX All Technology Index (ASX: XTX) rose by more than 6% over the week.

But the party couldn’t be contained to just ASX tech shares. ASX blue chips like Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) and Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) notched up 5.01% and 7.35% gains respectively. Even Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) managed to eke out a 3.32% rise over the 5 days.

We also saw the ‘new’ TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPG) in action for the first time after the old TPG successfully completed its merger with Vodafone and joined forces in matrimony. Singapore-based TPG-spinoff Tuas Ltd (ASX: TUA) also hit the boards last week.

Oh, and National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) paid its first post-COVID dividend of 30 cents per share, well below the 80+ cents per share shareholders are normally accustomed to.

How did the markets end the week?

After finishing the week prior at 5,904.1 points, the ASX 200 managed to finish last week 153.8 points higher at 6,057.9 points – a healthy 2.6% increase. Monday ended up being the only day when the ASX 200 shed value last week, banking a hefty 1.8% loss. But Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday all saw this loss erased and new gains made. Thursday was the standout performer, delivering a 1.8% surge.

Meanwhile, the All Ordinaries (INDEXASX: XAO) also had a strong week, rising from 6,011.8 points to 6,163.7 points for a 2.5% gain.

Which ASX 200 shares were the biggest winners and losers?

Now, let’s kick back and indulge in some gossip over last week’s best and worst performers. As always, we’ll start with the losers:

Worst ASX 200 losers

 % loss for the week

Adbri Ltd (ASX: ABC)

(26.1%)

Perenti Global Ltd (ASX: PRN)

(8.3%)

Southern Cross Media Group Ltd (ASX: SXL)

(7.9%)

Reliance Worldwide Corporation Ltd (ASX: RWC)

(6.21%)

Taking out last week’s wooden spoon was Adbri (formerly known as Adelaide Brighton). This construction materials company was not in ASX investors’ good books last week after US-based aluminium producer Alcoa decided not to renew a lime supply contract with the company.

Mining engineer Perenti was also not in favour after reporting that its profits for the 2020 financial year are expected to come in around 4-8% lower than it initially expected.

Perennial loser Southern Cross couldn’t keep itself out of the bad books last week either. This advertising company has been hammered hard during the coronavirus crisis, with economy-wide cuts to advertising expenditure hurting this company badly.

Now the losers are out of the way, let’s take a look at who was taking home trophies last week:

Best ASX 200 gainers

 % gain for the week

Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT)

18.4%

Nearmap Ltd (ASX: NEA)

17.5%

NextDC Ltd (ASX: NXT)

14.6%

Domain Holdings Australia Ltd (ASX: DHG)

14.3%

As we discussed earlier, Afterpay went home with the silver spoon last week. Investors simply can’t get enough of this buy now, pay later (BNPL) company and now look to be happy owning it at any cost.

Meanwhile, aerial mapping company Nearmap took out the second spot last week after some favourable broker notes bumped up this share on investors’ horizons.

NextDC was another winner, which investors started climbing into after the company announced the signing of several new and exciting contracts for New South Wales.

Finally, Fairfax’s old online property marketplace Domain also had a stellar week, despite no obvious reason why.

What is this week looking like for the ASX 200?

New cases of coronavirus infections in Victoria last week, as well as ongoing social unrest over in the United States, didn’t seem to bother investors at all.

Even so, I think these two areas are the spaces to watch as we start another week in paradise. Investor sentiment (although surprisingly robust in recent times) can still turn on a dime, and, in my view, all ASX investors should keep this in mind.

So before we go, here’s a look at how the major ASX blue chip shares are looking:

ASX 200 company

Trailing P/E ratio

Last share price

52-week high

52-week low

CSL Limited (ASX: CSL)

46.57

$297.46

$342.75

$215.24

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA)

12.98

$71.57

$91.05

$53.44

Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC)

13.92

$18.54

$30.05

$13.47

National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB)

16.82

$18.74

$30.00

$13.20

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ASX: ANZ)

13.06

$19.19

$28.79

$14.10

Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW)

18.80

$37.77

$43.96

$32.12

Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES)

23.91

$46.11

$47.42

$29.75

BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) 13.52

$36.26

$41.98

$24.05

Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO)

13.68

$96.39

$107.79

$72.77

Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL)

19.30

$17.16

$18.09

$13.10

Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS)

19.38

$3.36

$4.01

$2.87

Transurban Group (ASX: TCL)

172.92

$14.62

$16.44

$9.10

Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD)

32.08

$5.74

$9.30

$4.37

Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM)

31.22

$32.73

$38.87

$20.70

Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL)

40.89

$21.65

$36.41

$14.93

Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG)

14.35

$122.02

$152.35

$70.45

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

  •     S&P/ASX 200 (XJO) at 6,057.9 points
  •     All Ordinaries (XAO) at 6,163.7 points
  •     Dow Jones Industrial Average at 25,827.36 points after rising 0.36% on Thursday night (our time)
  •     Gold (Spot) swapping hands for US$1,784.50 per troy ounce
  •     Iron ore asking US$98.94 per tonne
  •     Crude oil (Brent) trading at US$42.85 per barrel
  •     Crude oil (WTI) going for US$40.30 per barrel
  •     Australian dollar buying 69.37 US cents
  •    10-year Australian Government bonds yielding 0.90% per annum

Foolish takeaway

Market exuberance (the likes of which we may be seeing in shares like Afterpay) is always fun to watch (and even better to gain from). But like investing legend Benjamin Graham once said, the market is a voting machine in the short term, and a weighing machine in the long term.

Right now, investors are certainly voting Afterpay and other ASX tech shares higher. But I would say to anyone who wants to join the bandwagon, make sure you’re buying assets with weight behind them. Otherwise, you might be caught short if and when the voters stampede the other way. So, as always, 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., Nearmap Ltd., Reliance Worldwide Limited, and Xero. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Macquarie Group Limited and Telstra Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO, COLESGROUP DEF SET, Transurban Group, Wesfarmers Limited, and Woolworths Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Nearmap Ltd. and Reliance Worldwide 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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