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ASX 200 Weekly Wrap: Friday carnage ruins last week of ASX earnings

asx 200 share price represented by dog pointing to share price chart
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The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has just capped off the last week of the February earnings season in a rather disappointing fashion. The ASX 200 went backwards last week, sending the index back below 6,700 points and into negative territory for the year so far (if only just).

It would have been a nice week in the green if it wasn’t for Friday’s effort. On that day alone, the ASX 200 lost a whopping 2.35%.

US markets turned Friday into an ASX 200 whitewash

So what happened on Friday to elicit such a violent reaction form investors? Well, nothing that we can pithily sum up. The ASX 200 seemed to just follow Wall Street’s lead of the previous night. The Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQ: .IXIC) had its biggest fall in four months, with investors deciding it was a day to take some profits off of the table. 

There were a few underlying causes as well. As we discussed over the weekend, government bond yields have been on the rise. This tends to have a depressing effect on ASX share prices. In particular, ASX tech shares felt the brunt of this (growth shares are often more affected by higher rates). High-flying shares like Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) and Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) were smashed on Friday, with Afterpay falling more than 11%. But more on that later. 

Oh, and the Aussie dollar reached a new 3-year high last week as well, breaking the US 80 cents mark for the first time since February 2018. It’s an interesting development given that, around this time last year, the Aussie was poised to hit its lowest levels in almost two decades. It ended up bottoming out at around US 57 cents in mid-March 2020.

Finally, earnings, for the most part, wrapped up last week. We had interesting results from Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN), Appen Ltd (ASX: APX), Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) and Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH). Most of the more well-known ASX 200 blue chips reported in the weeks prior.

How did the markets end the week?

Before Friday’s carnage, the ASX 200 had a rather bouncy week. Monday saw the index lose 0.19% off the bat. But Tuesday saw this reverse when the ASX 200 added 0.89%. The markets threw the car back into reverse again on Wednesday with a 0.9% loss, which was countered on Thursday with a 0.83% gain.

But Friday was the day that really set the week’s tone with the 2.35% plunge. Given the ASX 200 started out at 6,793.8 points and finished up at 6,673.3 points, we saw an overall loss of 1.77% for the week.

Meanwhile, the All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) also had a clanger, starting out at 7,064 points and finishing up below the 7,000 point threshold at 6,940.6 points for an overall loss of 1.75%.

Which ASX 200 shares were the biggest winners and losers?

It’s time for our Foolish take on the gossip pages, so get the coffee pot brewing as we unpack the biggest winners and losers for the week, starting, as always, with the losers:

Worst ASX 200 losers % loss for the week
Service Stream Limited (ASX: SSM) (32.5%)
Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) (22.7%)
Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) (21.3%)
Perenti Global Ltd (ASX: PRN) (17.4%)

Last week’s wooden spoon went to network company Service Stream. The company had a shocker of a week, falling by almost a third in value. The catalyst was, of course, its half-year earnings report. Investors evidently hit the panic button when Service Stream reported a 40.5% profit plunge.

Next up we had WAAAX share Appen. Likewise, investors did not like what they saw in Appen’s earnings report (this one for the full year). That was despite the company reporting 12% in revenue growth and 8% in earnings growth. Sometimes, it’s just all about expectations.

Afterpay did return to trading on Friday following a convertible notes offering earlier in the week. But investors certainly weren’t holding their arms open. Earnings weren’t a factor here, so we can probably put this move down to what we discussed above, possibly in conjunction with the notes. 

Finally, we had mining services company Perenti. Perenti fell hard on earnings – posting a 25.8% plunge in profits and a statutory loss of $63.8 million. Investors weren’t impressed.

Now with the losers out of the way, let’s check out last week’s winners.

Best ASX 200 gainers % gain for the week
Sandfire Resources Ltd (ASX: SFR) 18%
Corporate Travel Management Ltd (ASX: CTD)
15.9%
Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) 14.2%
Costa Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: CGC) 13.7%

Copper miner Sandfire was… on fire last week and topped the ASX 200 gainers’ list. Investors were evidently impressed with this company’s earnings report, which contained a near-doubling of profits and a big dividend hike. Thank high copper prices.

ASX travel companies Corporate Travel and Flight Centre also had good weeks. Investors liked what they saw in Flight Centre’s earnings, whereas Corporate Travel seemed to just benefit from hopes that vaccine rollouts will lead to a recovery in travel.

Finally, fruit and vegetable grower Costa also reported earnings, and gave investors a 108% profit jump. That would have been a welcome sight for Costa shareholders since this company has struggled in recent years.

A wrap of the ASX 200 blue chip shares

Before we go, here is a look at the major ASX 200 blue chip shares as we start yet another week on the ASX boards.

ASX 200 company Trailing P/E ratio Last share price 52-week high 52-week low
CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) 35.59 $262.59 $332.68 $242.67
Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) 18.14 $81.56 $89.20 $53.44
Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) 37.39 $23.82 $24.77 $13.47
National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) 22.71 $24.64 $26.48 $13.20
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ) 21.61 $26.17 $26.95 $14.10
Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) 9.25 $24.11 $26.40 $8.20
Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) 35.17 $39.40 $42.23 $32.12
Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) 29.69 $49.24 $56.40 $29.75
BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) 28.28 $49.13 $50.51 $24.05
Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) 16.77 $127.19 $130.10 $72.77
Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) 19.49 $15.33 $19.26 $14.01
Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) 20.67 $3.08 $3.59 $2.66
Transurban Group (ASX: TCL) $12.80 $15.70 $9.10
Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD) $5.86 $7.85 $4.26
Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM) 16.27 $24.64 $38.15 $20.70
Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) $24.57 $29.93 $14.93
Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) 21.52 $142.48 $149 $70.45
Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) $119.52 $160.05 $8.01

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

  • S&P/ASX 200 Index (XJO) at 6,673.3 points.
  • All Ordinaries Index (XAO) at 6,940.6 points.
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average Index (DJX: .DJI) at 30,932.37 points after falling 1.5% on Friday night (our time).
  • Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) going for US$58,724 per coin.
  • Gold (spot) swapping hands for US$1,734.78 per troy ounce.
  • Iron ore asking US$173.34 per tonne.
  • Crude oil (Brent) trading at US$64.42 per barrel.
  • Australian dollar buying 77.06 US cents.
  • 10-year Australian Government bonds yielding 1.91% per annum.

That’s all folks. See you next week!

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Sebastian Bowen owns shares of Bitcoin, National Australia Bank Limited, Newcrest Mining Limited, and Telstra Limited. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Appen Ltd, Cochlear Ltd., CSL Ltd., and ZIPCOLTD FPO. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. recommends Bitcoin. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Corporate Travel Management Limited, COSTA GRP FPO, 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 Cochlear Ltd., Flight Centre Travel Group Limited, and Service Stream Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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