The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has continued its form over April so far. Last week the index crossed its highest threshold since the start of the coronavirus pandemic more than a year ago after rising 2.4% from Tuesday to Friday. Not a bad return considering most of us (including the ASX) had Monday off.
On Thursday morning, the ASX 200 crossed 7,000 points for the first time since January 2020 and climbed as high as 7,012 points during intra-day trading. Whilst that milestone is completely rudimentary, it still represents a significant psychological milestone. It also means the ASX 200 is getting closer to its pre-COVID high of 7,162 points that we saw back on 20 February 2020.
Even though the week saw the ASX 200 ended back below 7,000 points, it was only just, given the index finished up at 6,995 on Friday afternoon.
ASX tech hits gold
In a departure from recent norms, it was the ASX tech sector that shone last week, helped along by gold miners. ASX tech shares spent last week bouncing back from the bond-driven sell-off we saw over February and March. Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) was a strong performer, gaining close to 15% over the week. As was Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) and Xero Limited (ASX: XRO) with gains of 7.5% and 5.9% respectively.
This was assisted by a cracker of a week over on the US markets. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQ: .IXIC) rose more than 3% last week, whilst the S&P 500 Index (SP: .INX) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index (DJX: .DJI) continued to push into new all-time high territory.
As mentioned above, ASX gold miners also had a stellar week. The ASX’s largest gold miner Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM) was up 6.54% last week, whilst Silver Lake Resources Limited (ASX: SLR) was the ASX 200’s best performer with a gain of 18.2% (more on that later). We can probably put this strength down to a rising gold price, falling bond yields and a slight recovery in the Australian dollar.
How did the markets end the week?
The ASX 200 managed three out of four days in the green last week. Tuesday kicked things off with a 1% rise, which was backed up on Wednesday and Thursday with gains of 0.3% and 1.1% respectively. Friday saw the week’s only loss, but only just, with the ASX sliding a paltry 0.05%. The complications surrounding the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine which the government responded to on Friday certainly put a dampener on the mood at the week’s end.
Meanwhile, the All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) also had a strong week, rising from 7,061.8 points at Tuesday’s open to 7,252.3 pints on Friday afternoon, a hefty gain of 2.7%.
Which ASX 200 shares were the biggest winners and losers?
Time now for our winners and losers segment where we put the S in salacious by looking at the week’s best and worst ASX 200 shares. So put the kettle on as we start with the losers:
|Worst ASX 200 losers||% loss for the week|
|Chorus Ltd (ASX: CNU)||(6.4%)|
|AMP Ltd (ASX: AMP)||(4.9%)|
|Incitec Pivot Ltd (ASX: IPL)||(3.8%)|
|Corporate Travel Management Ltd (ASX: CTD)||(3.7%)|
New Zealand telco Chorus was the ASX 200 wooden spooner last week with a 6.4% slide. This appears to be a response to Chorus’s announcement last Tuesday, in which the company advised it’s expecting its maximum allowable revenue range to be lower than previously indicated at $680 to $710 million (down from the previous $715 to $755 million).
Poor old AMP was also a loser last week. This embattled wealth manager was once again being sold off in the wake of CEO Francesco de Ferrari’s resignation announced last month.
Fertiliser and chemical manufacturer Incitec Pivot was in the firing line after an update on one of its factories. The company announced on Tuesday that its Waggaman ammonia operation won’t be coming back online until mid-April. It was previously expected to be back by mid-March following some earlier mechanical failures.
Finally, travel company Corporate Travel Management was also on investors’ hit list last week. Most of the week’s 3.7% loss came on Friday following the government’s response to the AstraZeneca vaccine concerns. Any delay in ‘returning to normal’ is obviously bad news for a travel company.
Now with the losers done and dusted, let’s have a look at last week’s winners:
|Best ASX 200 gainers||% gain for the week|
|Silver Lake Resources Limited (ASX: SLR)||18.2%|
|EML Payments Ltd (ASX: EML)||17.1%|
|Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT)||15.1%|
|Ramelius Resources Ltd (ASX: RMS)||13.3%|
As you can see, we had two ASX gold miners and two ASX tech shares making up the ASX 200’s best performers last week.
EML had some more good news up its sleeve though. On Wednesday, the payments company announced the acquisition of Sentinel Limited, a European banking and payments company, for 110 million euros. Investors clearly approved.
Some stellar numbers from Afterpay’s ‘Afterpay Day’ sales over in the US also gave investors another reason to chase this buy now, pay later (BNPL) company up the wall.
There was no major news out of Silver Lake, the ASX 200’s best performer. However, fellow gold miner Ramelius Resources Limited (ASX: RMS) gave the markets a quarterly update which may have helped its case.
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 on our first five-day week for a while (sigh):
|ASX 200 company||Trailing P/E ratio||Last share price||52-week high||52-week low|
|CSL Limited (ASX: CSL)||34.37||$263.40||$332.68||$242|
|Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA)||19.38||$87.13||$89.20||$57|
|Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC)||39.57||$25.21||$25.30||$14.53|
|Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ)||23.74||$28.74||$29.55||$15.07|
|National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB)||24.62||$26.72||$27.10||$15|
|Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG)||7.72||$20.89||$26.40||$10.61|
|Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW)||36.8||$41.23||$42.05||$33.82|
|Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES)||32.67||$54.17||$56.40||$35.58|
|BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP)||26.03||$46.67||$50.93||$28.76|
|Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO)||14.66||$115.50||$130.30||$80.10|
|Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL)||20.16||$15.85||$19.26||$14.95|
|Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS)||23.02||$3.43||$3.54||$2.66|
|Transurban Group (ASX: TCL)||–||$13.67||$15.64||$10.73|
|Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD)||–||$6.10||$7.49||$4.92|
|Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM)||17.07||$26.70||$38.15||$23.08|
|Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL)||–||$24.32||$27.60||$16.80|
|Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG)||23.38||$154.80||$155.94||$88.13|
|Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT)||–||$121.47||$160.05||$19.67|
And finally, here is the lay of the land for some leading market indicators:
- S&P/ASX 200 Index (XJO) at 6,995.2 points.
- All Ordinaries Index (XAO) at 7,252.3 points.
- Dow Jones Industrial Average Index (DJX: .DJI) at 33,800.6 points after rising 0.89% on Friday night (our time).
- Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) going for US$59,707 per coin.
- Gold (spot) swapping hands for US$1,744 per troy ounce.
- Iron ore asking US$170 per tonne.
- Crude oil (Brent) trading at US$62.95 per barrel.
- Australian dollar buying 76.22 US cents.
- 10-year Australian Government bonds yielding 1.7% 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 and recommends Bitcoin. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of CSL Ltd., Xero, and ZIPCOLTD FPO. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. recommends EML Payments. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Corporate Travel Management Limited, EML Payments, 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 has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.
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