The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has enjoyed yet another strong week of returns which saw the index make a new post-COVID high. In the previous week, the ASX 200 hit the 7,000 point threshold for the first time since the onset of the coronavirus back in February 2020.
Last week, the ASX 200 built on that momentum and was pushing as high as 7,067 points on Thursday afternoon. That’s less than 2% from its all-time high of just under 7,200 points that was reached on 20 February 2020.
It was ASX tech shares that were leading the charge last week, with several of the ASX’s more well-known names enjoying big gains. Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) was the top ASX 200 performer, rising more than 12% over the week (more on that later). But we also saw healthy moves upward from tech shares like Altium Limited (ASX: ALU), Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) and Xero Limited (ASX: XRO).
ASX gold miners also had a top week. A gradual rise in the price of the precious metal helped in this endeavour, as did a slight bump in the Aussie dollar against its US counterpart.
US growth and jobs
So what caused this continuing optimism? Well, we had some extremely encouraging economic statistics come out mid-week, which no doubt helped push the ASX 200 higher. Over the month of March, the unemployment rate fell from 5.8% to 5.65%. And that was despite a rise in the participation rate.
We also continued to see the US markets push higher into new record territory, which is never bad news for AX 200 shares. Both the S&P 500 Index (SP: .INX) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJX: .DJI) closed at record highs on Friday afternoon (US time), which is a pretty incredible event if you think about it.
But not all ASX shares were lifted by the rising tide last week. Energy generation companies Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG) and AGL Energy Limited (ASX: AGL) both had shockers. The latter fell to a new 16-year low of $9.15 per share on Friday.
But how did our own ASX 200 fair over the week?
How did the markets end the week?
Well, the ASX 200 Index started the week at 6,995.2 points and ended up at 7,063.5 points, a gain of 0.98% for the week. Monday saw the ASX 200’s only loss for the week, with a slip of 0.3%. Tuesday was essentially flat with a measly gain of 0.04%. But Wednesday saw a bit of acceleration with a 0.66% gain. This was followed up on Thursday with another 0.51%, and Friday saw a further 0.07% added.
Meanwhile, the All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) also had a good week. The All Ords started out at 7,252.3 points and finished up at 7,325.8 points, a gain of 1.01%.
Which ASX 200 shares were the biggest winners and losers?
Time now for our rather salacious winners and losers segment where we take a peek at the week’s best and worst ASX 200 shares. So fetch the biscuits and put the kettle on as we, as always, start with the losers:
|Worst ASX 200 losers||% loss for the week|
|Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC)||(17.7%)|
|Regis Resources Limited (ASX: RRL)||(14.9%)|
|Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG)||(9.7%)|
|TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPG)||(5.7%)|
Last week’s wooden spoon recipient was Whitehaven Coal with a nasty near-18% slide. Investors were hitting the sell button in droves after the company informed the market that coal production had been hit by unexpected delays, including bad weather, in a quarterly update.
ASX gold miner Regis was a notable exception to the outperformance of the ASX gold miners last week. Investors did not evidently approve of the company’s plans to raise cash to acquire a 30% interest in IGO Ltd (ASX: IGO)’s Tropicana Gold Project.
As mentioned earlier, Origin Energy also had a stinker. Origin continues to face uncertainty woes, and this week the company gave investors an update which consisted of an FY2021 guidance downgrade. It seems investors’ patience with this one is wearing thin.
Finally, TPG Telecom was also in investors’ sights, despite no major news out of the company. It might still be suffering from the announcement of CEO David Teoh’s resignation last month.
With the losers out of the way, let’s now take a look at last week’s winners:
|Best ASX 200 gainers||% gain for the week|
|Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P)||12.9%|
|Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS)||12.1%|
|Pendal Group Ltd (ASX: PDL)||9.7%|
|Resolute Mining Ltd (ASX: RSG)||8.4%|
Zip Co topped the ASX 200 last week with a near-13% gain. Fuelling this appreciation was a quarterly update the buy now, pay later (BNPL) company released on Tuesday. This outlined an impressive 114% jump in transaction volume and an 80% rise in revenues for the period.
Lithium company Pilbara was also a top performer last week. There was no major news out of the miner, but investor sentiment has been warming for a few months now in this sector. Further, as my Fool colleague James discussed on the weekend, Pilbara has been enjoying some love from brokers lately as well.
Fund manager Pendal was also basking in some attention from investors. This appears to be the result of a 4.4% increase in funds under management over March to $101.7 billion, which the company unveiled late last week.
Finally, Resolute Mining topped the ASX gold miners last week with an 8.4% bump. This was helped by the factors discussed above, as well as the restoration of a mining license in Ghana.
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 yet another week in paradise:
|ASX 200 company||Trailing P/E ratio||Last share price||52-week high||52-week low|
|CSL Limited (ASX: CSL)||35.22||$269.07||$332.68||$242|
|Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA)||19.57||$87.99||$89.20||$57|
|Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC)||39.74||$25.32||$25.41||$14.53|
|Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ)||23.8||$28.82||$29.55||$15.07|
|National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB)||24.62||$26.72||$27.10||$15|
|Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG)||7.71||$20.82||$26.40||$10.61|
|Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW)||37.52||$42.04||$42.47||$33.82|
|Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES)||33.55||$55.64||$56.40||$35.58|
|BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP)||26.44||$47.57||$50.93||$28.76|
|Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO)||15.14||$118.88||$130.30||$80.10|
|Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL)||19.79||$15.56||$19.26||$14.95|
|Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS)||23.02||$3.43||$3.54||$2.66|
|Transurban Group (ASX: TCL)||–||$13.88||$15.64||$12.22|
|Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD)||–||$6.11||$7.49||$4.99|
|Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM)||17.67||$27.72||$38.15||$23.08|
|Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL)||–||$24.07||$27.60||$16.80|
|Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG)||23.38||$156.25||$157.38||$93.62|
|Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT)||–||$127.39||$160.05||$25.67|
And finally, here is the lay of the land for some leading market indicators:
- S&P/ASX 200 Index (XJO) at 7,063.5 points.
- All Ordinaries Index (XAO) at 7,325.8 points.
- Dow Jones Industrial Average at 34,200.67 points after rising 0.48% on Friday night (our time).
- Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) going for US$55,938 per coin.
- Gold (spot) swapping hands for US$1,777 per troy ounce.
- Iron ore asking US$174.10 per tonne.
- Crude oil (Brent) trading at US$66.77 per barrel.
- Australian dollar buying 77.34 US cents.
- 10-year Australian Government bonds yielding 1.68% per annum.
That’s all folks. See you next week!