The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was on form last week thanks largely to strong gains in the banking sector. The benchmark index rose 1.7% higher over the five days to end at 5,964.9 points.
Unfortunately, not all shares on the index pushed higher last week. Here’s why these were the worst performers on the ASX 200 over the period:
Ramelius Resources Limited (ASX: RMS)
The Ramelius share price was the worst performer on the ASX 200 last week with a sizeable 17% decline. Investors were selling the gold miners last week after the spot gold price crashed to a two-month low. A strengthening U.S. dollar and stimulus concerns weighed on the price of the precious metal. For the same reason, fellow gold miners Gold Road Resources Ltd (ASX: GOR) and St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) were the next worst performers with declines of 13% and 12.8%.
Virgin Money UK (ASX: VUK)
The Virgin Money UK share price wasn’t far behind with a disappointing 12.4% decline over the five days. The catalyst for this was an escalation in coronavirus cases in the UK which prompted the government to warn that lockdowns could be coming again. Things have got so bad in recent weeks that health officials warned that there could be upwards of 50,000 new cases per day next month if things aren’t brought under control.
Avita Therapeutics Inc (ASX: AVH)
The Avita share price was out of form last week and tumbled 11.7% lower. This may have been triggered by news that its CEO, Dr Michael Perry, had sold shares in the company. Dr Perry sold 9,000 of its US stock for an average of US$27.41 per share. This equates to a total consideration of approximately US$246,690.
Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX: URW)
The Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield share price was the next worst (non-gold miner) ASX 200 share with a decline of 8.2% last week. This shopping centre operator’s decline also appears to be related to the escalating coronavirus cases in the UK and Europe. Potential lockdowns and social distancing initiatives are likely to put pressure on its shopping centres. In addition to this, last week Macquarie retained its neutral rating but cut its price target on the company’s shares by 28% to $2.96.