Despite a shaky end to the month, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) overcame a difficult earnings season to record a solid gain in August.
The benchmark index climbed 132.7 points or 2.2% during the month to end it at 6,060.5 points.
Unfortunately, not all shares on the index climbed higher with it. Here’s why these were the worst performing ASX 200 shares in August:
Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC)
The Whitehaven Coal share price was the worst performer on the ASX 200 in August with a 32.9% decline. Investors were selling off the coal miner’s shares following the release of a very disappointing full year result. Due to a combination of weak coal prices and labour shortage issues, Whitehaven reported a 95% decline in underlying net profit after tax to $30 million in FY 2020. Unsurprisingly, this led to the company slashing its dividend down from 50 cents per share to just 1.5 cents per share.
Resolute Mining Limited (ASX: RSG)
The Resolute Mining share price was some way behind as the next worst performer with a 15% decline. The catalyst for this decline were concerns over rising tensions in Mali, where its key Syama operation is based. Last month Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta resigned after being detained by mutinying soldiers. During the June quarter, Resolute’s Syama gold operation contributed 63,705 ounces of gold production. This represents 59.4% of its total production of 107,183 ounces during the quarter.
Gold Road Resources Ltd (ASX: GOR)
The Gold Road share price was out of form last month and tumbled 15% lower over the period. This appears to have been driven by a slight pullback in the gold price and a bearish broker note out of Macquarie early in the month. Although Gold Road’s June quarter production was broadly in line with its expectations, its higher costs guidance disappointed. Macquarie downgraded Gold Road shares to an underperform rating with a $1.80 price target.
Treasury Wine Estates Ltd (ASX: TWE)
The Treasury Wine Estates share price wasn’t far behind with a 14.4% decline in August. Investors were selling the wine company’s shares following reports that the Chinese Ministry of Commerce has initiated an anti-dumping investigation into Australian wine exports into China. There are concerns that this will lead to China putting hefty import duties on Australian wine. This could put pressure on sales in the lucrative market.