The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) enjoyed a week of relative calm after the volatility experienced in recent weeks. All five trading days last week saw movements below 1%. And four out of the five days saw positive or flat movements of the ASX 200.
Primary support behind these market moves came from both dovish comments from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), as well as the federal government’s new tourism support package. The latter naturally saw shares of travel exposed companies rise strongly.
Corporate Travel Management Ltd (ASX: CTD) was the biggest beneficiary (more on that later), but the sentiment was overwhelmingly positive across most companies that were hardest hit by last year’s travel restrictions and lockdowns.
Meanwhile, ASX tech shares, the font of most of the volatility we have seen across the ASX over the past month or so, were a lot more stable last week. We still saw a mixed bag across the space though. Buy now, pay later (BNPL) companies like Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) and Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) had lousy weeks. Whereas other beaten-down tech shares like Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) bounced back.
ASX gets a government handout (or two)
This was immensely helped by comments from the RBA last week. RBA governor Dr Philip Lowe commented on the rising bond yields that sparked the ‘rotation’ out of tech we have been seeing.
He poured water on bond investors’ expectations of higher rates in the near term future, saying he doesn’t see rates rising until 2024. So essentially, repeating what the RBA has been telling us all along. Even so, the markets likely found solace in these words.
Another factor that may have contributed to the eerie calm on the ASX last week was the final passage of a monster stimulus package over in the United States. Last week, US President Joe Biden signed the US$1.9 trillion ‘American Rescue Plan’ after it narrowly passed both houses of the US Congress.
The package contains direct cheque payments to most Americans, a boost in unemployment payments and vaccine rollout funding. It is estimated to give the US economy a major boost.
How did the markets end the week?
As we touched on earlier, it was a week of relative tranquillity on the ASX 200. Monday kicked things off with a 0.43% bump, which was backed up by a smooth 0.47% boost on Tuesday. Wednesday saw the only downwards move of the week with a 0.84% loss. Thursday was a flat day for the ASX 200, while Friday upped again with a 0.79% rise.
All in all, the ASX 200 started the week at 6,710.8 points and finished up at 6,766.8 points – a 1.16% gain for the week.
Meanwhile, the All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) started out at 6,943 points and finished up back over the 7,000 point mark at 7,014.6 points, a gain of 1.03%.
Which ASX 200 shares were the biggest winners and losers?
It’s time for our wrap’s gossip pages, so put the kettle on as we unpack the biggest winners and losers for the week! As always, we start with the losers:
ASX 200 Losers
|Worst ASX 200 losers||% loss for the week|
|Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P)||(10.2%)|
|Smartgroup Corporation Ltd (ASX: SIQ)||(7.3%)|
|Santos Ltd (ASX: STO)||(7%)|
|A2 Milk Company (ASX: A2M)||(5.8%)|
As we flagged earlier, Zip was a poor performer during the week, the ASX 200’s wooden spooner in fact. There was no major news out of Zip over the week. So perhaps Zip continued to fall because investors seem to have decided (in the face of rising bond yields) that the BNPL company has been a little on the overvalued side of life.
Corporate management company Smartgroup also had a lousy week. Although investors shouldn’t be too disappointed with this one. Smartgroup went ex-dividend during the week, so the value of this dividend was automatically taken out of the company’s share price by the market. SIQ one!
Santos was also under pressure as it was announced one of its major institutional shareholders had substantially reduced its stake in the company. That’s never going to leave the remaining shareholders too excited.
Finally, A2 Milk was also under the udder as investors continued to lose faith in the former high-flying growth stock. Investors have been disenchanted with A2 ever since the company downgraded its guidance last month due to continuing weakness with its daigou channels.
Now with the losers out of the way, let’s take a look at last week’s winners:
ASX 200 Winners
As we mentioned earlier, Corporate Travel Management was the top performer on the ASX 200 last week. Now that the government is offering a bevvy of half-price airline tickets, investors are assuming customers will be enthusiastically engaging the travel planning company’s services.
Tech company Appen was also in fine form. Investors seemed to have decided the company was oversold in the tech route of the past month or so, and were scrambling over each other to correct the mistake.
Gold miner Silver Lake (somewhat ironic isn’t it?) was also in favour last week. The gold price has been bouncing back somewhat after being heavily sold off due to rising bond yields. That’s always good news for the companies that mine the precious metal.
Finally, we had pharma company Clinuvel, which was in the good books despite no major news out of its doors.
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 embark on another week of fun on the share market:
|ASX 200 company||Trailing P/E ratio||Last share price||52-week high||52-week low|
|CSL Limited (ASX: CSL)||33.47||$253.26||$332.68||$242|
|Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA)||19.24||$86.49||$89.20||$53.44|
|Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC)||38.37||$24.45||$25.30||$13.47|
|Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ)||23.32||$28.24||$29.55||$14.10|
|National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB)||24.05||$26.10||$27.10||$13.20|
|Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG)||7.95||$21.26||$26.40||$8.20|
|Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW)||34.89||$39.09||$42.05||$32.12|
|Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES)||30.42||$50.45||$56.40||$29.75|
|BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP)||26.92||$47.97||$50.93||$24.05|
|Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO)||15||$116.65||$130.30||$72.77|
|Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL)||19.7||$15.49||$19.26||$14.01|
|Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS)||20.6||$3.07||$3.57||$2.66|
|Transurban Group (ASX: TCL)||–||$13.10||$15.64||$9.10|
|Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD)||–||$6.34||$7.49||$4.26|
|Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM)||15.46||$24.02||$38.15||$20.70|
|Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL)||–||$25.09||$27.60||$14.93|
|Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG)||22.6||$149.60||$153.50||$70.45|
|Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT)||–||$113.42||$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 6,766.8 points.
- All Ordinaries Index (XAO) at 7,014.6 points.
- Dow Jones Industrial Average Index (DJX: .DJI) at 32,778.6 points after rising 0.9% on Friday night (our time).
- Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) going for US$60,385 per coin.
- Gold (spot) swapping hands for US$1,728 per troy ounce.
- Iron ore asking US$167.08 per tonne.
- Crude oil (Brent) trading at US$69.22 per barrel.
- Australian dollar buying 77.59 US cents.
- 10-year Australian Government bonds yielding 1.71% per annum.
That’s all folks. See you next week!
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Sebastian Bowen owns shares of A2 Milk, 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 and recommends Bitcoin. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Appen Ltd, CSL Ltd., and ZIPCOLTD FPO. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended A2 Milk, 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 SMARTGROUP DEF SET. 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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