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ASX 200 Weekly Wrap: Blue chip shares pull ASX 200 back over 6,000 points

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has shaken off fears over a second wave of coronavirus infections to record a substantial 1.9% gain last week. The uplift in investors’ sentiment saw the flagship ASX 200 index climb back over the psychologically important (but practically impotent) 6,000 points threshold. This line in the sand has been flirted with on numerous occasions over the past 2 months, so we’ll have to see if investors’ confidence holds this time.

Back in February, the ASX 200 was above 7,000 points, which it had hit for the first time in history in January 2020. But the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic saw the ASX 200 (along with global markets) subsequently crater to just above 4,500 points by mid-March — a loss of close to 40%.

Despite this dramatic collapse, the ASX 200 quickly recovered in April and May, and first crossed back over the 6,000 points line back in early June. But gyrations across the global economy as well as the unpredictable nature of the pandemic have seen investors play jump rope with this line ever since.

But I digress.

ASX blue chips and miners see big gains

So the last week saw some interesting developments on the ASX boards. ASX blue chip shares had an extremely strong week across the board. The big four ASX banks, Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) and Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) pushed higher. Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) even hit a new all-time high of $18.32 during the week.

But once again it was the ASX resources sector that really got investors’ blood pumping. The ‘Big Australian’ BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) was up nearly 5% last week, as was Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) with a 6.3% gain. But, as we’ve become accustomed to in 2020, it was Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) that again stole the show. Fortescue shares rose an astonishing 10.37% over the week and even set a new all-time high of $16.66 just after market open on Friday.

In contrast, ASX gold miners and buy now, pay later shares like Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) –  the market darlings of the week prior – were the party poopers last week. Afterpay is firmly back under $70 as of Friday after an incredible run in recent months to its current high watermark of $76.62. And some steam-letting in the gold price also saw ASX gold miners like Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) and Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX: SAR) give back some of their recent gains as well.

How did the markets end the week?

To put it concisely, as the ASX 200 started the week at 5,919.2 points and finished up at 6,033.6 points, we can put the gains for the week at 1.93%. Despite this healthy green number, it wasn’t a week of smooth sailing. Monday did see a 0.98% gain to start the week off. But Tuesday saw the ASX 200 shed 0.6% on coronavirus fears. Then Wednesday saw a jubilant 1.9% rise on the share market as a galloping iron ore price assuaged the previous day’s concerns. Thursday saw a 0.7% cool off, but Friday’s 0.4% return to form made sure the ASX 200 could bank a week in the green.

Meanwhile, the All Ordinaries (INDEXASX: XAO) also saw a week of mild turbulence amid its rise from 6,036.3 to 6,144.9 points to cement a 1.8% gain.

Which ASX 200 shares were the biggest winners and losers?

Well, it’s time for the Foolish gossip pages — so let’s sit back and have a gander at last week’s best and worst performers. As always, we’ll start with the losers:

Worst ASX 200 losers

 % loss for the week

Avita Therapeutics Inc (ASX: AVH)

(19%)

Mesoblast Limited (ASX: MSB)

(9.5%)

PolyNovo Ltd (ASX: PNV)

(7%)

Megaport Ltd (ASX: MP1)

(6.9%)

Former Australian of the Year Fiona Wood’s company Avita claims last week’s wooden spoon. The substantial 19% drop came after the skin treatment company delivered a sales update which saw revenues grow by around 160%. Clearly investors wanted even more than this and sent a big downgrade Avita’s way.

Fellow medical company Mesoblast was also on ASX 200 investors’ hit list. After coming in on last week’s winner’s list with a 9% gain, we can probably attribute this week’s comedown as some healthy profit taking.

Another medical company (I’m sensing a theme here) in Polynovo takes out the bronze medal. With no major news out of the company, it again just looks as though investors were keen to get some house money off the table with this one.

Now with the losers out of the way, let’s check out the winners:

Best ASX 200 gainers

 % gain for the week

Alumina Limited (ASX: AWC)

12.5%

Credit Corp Group Limited (ASX: CCP)

10.8%

Cooper Energy Ltd (ASX: COE)

10.5%

Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG)

10.4%

As we flagged earlier, ASX resources shares were the ASX’s primary breadwinners last week. First cab off the rank is aluminium producer Alumina. Investors seemed to like what they saw with the company’s recent quarterly earnings report. Despite the positive moves for Alumina, the company is still down around 22% year to date.

Debt collector Credit Corp also had a top week after it released an update of its own. I’m sure the 10.8% gain will be appreciated by Credit Corp’s investors, who are still enduring a 45.6% loss for the year so far.

Oil company Cooper also joined in the party, along with the previously-discussed Fortescue Metals.

What is this week looking like for the ASX 200?

After last week’s gains amidst a rising tide of coronavirus infections in Victoria, who knows what this week might bring to the table. It seems to this writer that the ASX 200 and global markets in general are starting to become desensitised to bad news, whilst still embracing any piece of good news that comes along – not a bad market to be a part of in circumspect (at least for now).

With earnings season now around the corner, investors will also no doubt be turning their attention to any potential surprises that might get thrown up in that arena. Given the current economic climate, I’m sure there are going to be some depressing numbers in the mix.

So before we go, here is a look at how the major ASX 200 blue chip shares are looking as we prepare for the new week:

ASX 200 company

Trailing P/E ratio

Last share price

52-week high

52-week low

CSL Limited (ASX: CSL)

44.67

$283.42

$342.75

$215.24

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA)

13.17

$72.60

$91.05

$53.44

Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC)

13.43

$17.89

$30.05

$13.47

National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB)

16.24

$18.10

$30.00

$13.20

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

12.57

$18.47

$28.79

$14.10

Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW)

19.34

$38.86

$43.96

$32.12

Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES)

24.13

$46.53

$47.42

$29.75

BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) 14.24

$37.92

$41.98

$24.05

Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO)

14.88

$104.14

$107.79

$72.77

Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL)

20.42

$18.15

$18.32

$13.10

Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS)

19.96

$3.46

$4.01

$2.87

Transurban Group (ASX: TCL)

164.87

$13.94

$16.44

$9.10

Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD)

30.57

$5.47

$9.30

$4.37

Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM)

31.48

$32.78

$38.87

$20.70

Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL)

39.24

$20.64

$36.28

$14.93

Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG)

14.72

$125.18

$152.35

$70.45

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

  •     S&P/ASX 200 (XJO) at 6,033.6 points
  •     All Ordinaries (XAO) at 6,144.9 points
  •     Dow Jones Industrial Average at 26,671.95 points after falling 0.23% on Friday night (our time)
  •     Gold (Spot) swapping hands for US$1,809.55 per troy ounce
  •     Iron ore asking US$105.59 per tonne
  •     Crude oil (Brent) trading at US$43.04 per barrel
  •     Crude oil (WTI) going for US$40.51 per barrel
  •     Australian dollar buying 69.99 US cents
  •    10-year Australian Government bonds yielding 0.86% per annum

Foolish takeaway

After a healthy week of gains last week, investors will no doubt be hoping for a double-up this week. I’m keeping my eye on the infection rate trajectory down in Victoria this week.

If signs emerge that the second round of lockdowns is working, it could well lead to the ASX 200 pushing higher and even testing its post-March high of 6,148 points. But as always, we’ll have to wait and see how things come to fruition. So fellow Fools, 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 Avita Medical Limited, CSL Ltd., MEGAPORT FPO, and POLYNOVO FPO. 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 Avita Medical Limited and MEGAPORT FPO. 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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