These were the best performing ASX 200 shares last week

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd (ASX:BEN) and Mesoblast limited (ASX:MSB) shares were among the worst performers on the ASX 200 last week…

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The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was on form again last week and charged higher again. The benchmark index rose 2.1% to 6,539.2 points thanks to further positive vaccine news.

While a good number of shares climbed higher with the market, a few recorded particularly strong gains.

Here’s why these were the best performing ASX 200 shares last week:

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield CDI (ASX: URW)

The Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield share price was the best performer on the ASX 200 last week with a 25.7% gain. Investors have been buying the shopping centre operator’s shares amid hopes that the COVID-19 vaccine will give its struggling business a big lift in 2021. Despite its strong gains in recent weeks, the company’s shares are still down 60% from their 52-week high.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd (ASX: BEN)

The Bendigo and Adelaide Bank share price was on form and charged 14.5% higher over the five days. This was despite there being no news out of the regional bank. However, a number of bank shares recorded strong gains last week after investor sentiment improved greatly in the sector. This may have been driven by the vaccine news and hopes that APRA would soon remove its limits on bank dividends.

Alumina Limited (ASX: AWC)

The Alumina share price wasn’t far behind with a 12.8% gain last week. Once again, this was despite there being no news out of the alumina and bauxite company. However, with aluminium prices on an upward trend, investors may be feeling confident about the company’s prospects in FY 2021.

Mesoblast limited (ASX: MSB)

The Mesoblast share price was a strong performer last week and stormed 12% higher. Almost all of this gain came on Friday following the announcement of an agreement with pharma giant Novartis. The two parties have agreed an exclusive worldwide license and collaboration agreement for the development, manufacture, and commercialisation of Mesoblast’s mesenchymal stromal cell product remestemcel-L. Novartis will make a US$50 million upfront payment and could pay upwards of US$1.25 billion milestone payments.

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