The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has just enjoyed a week in the green, which has pushed the flagship index towards its pre-COVID all-time high. Although the ASX 200’s gain of 0.8% for the week wasn’t particularly impressive on its own, it did end up pushing the index to 7,080.8 points by the end of the week, less than 1% off its all-time high of 7,160 points.
Investors can largely thank the ASX bank shares for this rise. Three of the big four banks reported half-yearly earnings this week. Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC), National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB), and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ) all reported big rebounds in profits for the periods, reflecting the Australian economy’s ‘snap back’ from the COVID pandemic.
They all also reported large increases in dividends that banking investors can now look forward to (although still not to the levels shareholders were receiving before the pandemic). This will still no doubt be very welcome, given that banking dividends all but dried up last year.
Investors seemed most impressed by Westpac, sending its shares up by more than 4% last week to a new 52-week high. But ANZ was evidently a disappointment, with the market sending the ANZ share price down by 3.5%.
ASX banks not the only winning shares… but tech not so lucky
Another ASX sector enjoying some sunlight last week was the resources sector, particularly those ASX shares involved in iron ore. Iron pricing once again had a top week last week, rising to more than US$200 per tonne, which is an extremely high level by historical standards. BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP), Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO), and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) all rose to near their all-time highs.
But for every winner, there tends to be a loser. And the losers last week were, by a long way, ASX tech shares. Spurred by heavy sell-offs on the US markets over the week, some of the ASX’s biggest tech companies were smashed last week. Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) copped the worst of it, sliding more than 20%. But more on that later.
ASX newcomer Nuix Ltd (ASX: NXL) also stood out last week for plunging to yet another all-time low of $3.51 per share on Friday. Investors who picked up Nuix shares on its December 2020 initial public offering (IPO) would now be down by around 55%.
How did the markets end the week?
As we flagged earlier, the ASX 200 had a pretty decent week, rising 0.78% from 7,025.9 points to 7,080.8 points.
Monday started off pretty flat with a gain of just 0.04%. But things picked up on Tuesday and Wednesday with gains of 0.56% and 0.4% respectively. Thursday saw a brief backslide of 0.48%. But this was offset by another day in the green on Friday, which added 0.27% and ensured a week-to-week rise.
Meanwhile, the All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) also had a decent, if not as good as the ASX 200, week overall. The All Ords started out at 7,290.7 points and finished up at 7,325.2 points for a gain of 0.47%.
Which ASX 200 shares were the biggest winners and losers?
|Worst ASX 200 losers||% loss for the week|
|Appen Ltd (ASX: APX)||(21.5%)|
|Nearmap Ltd (ASX: NEA)||(19.3%)|
|Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT)||(18.9%)|
|Altium Limited (ASX: ALU)||(15%)|
As we touched on, Appen was the ASX 200’s wooden spoon share last week. Appen was dragged down as part of the overall ASX tech sell-off. But matters weren’t helped by a presentation the company’s management gave last week either. This presentation threw some shade on the company’s immediate outlook, as well as rising competition. Investors weren’t impressed and shredded Appen’s market capitalisation by a fifth to a multi-year low.
Nearmap was another ASX tech share that was feeling the pain last week. Nearmap was actually doing rather well for a while there, with a well-received trading update released on Wednesday. But an announcement that the company would be facing legal proceedings on Thursday spooked investors, and the company ended up selling off near 20%. That’s despite Nearmap denying the allegations.
Buy now, pay later (BNPL) company Afterpay also copped some selling, plunging to a 5-month low of under $100 per share over the week. Unlike the above shares, this wasn’t sparked by anything in particular aside from weakness in the sector.
It was a similar story with Appen and Afterpay’s WAAAX stablemate Altium.
Now with the losers out of the way, let’s check out last week’s winners:
|Best ASX 200 gainers||% gain for the week|
|Resolute Mining Limited (ASX: RSG)||10.3%|
|Iluka Resources Limited (ASX: ILU)||10%|
|Silver Lake Resources Limited (ASX: SLR)||8.6%|
|QBE Insurance Group Ltd (ASX: QBE)||7.8%|
Topping the ASX 200 last week was gold miner Resolute Mining. ASX gold miners all tended to enjoy a big sentiment boost last week, helped along by rising gold prices. Resolute seemed to be the one to buy this time. Although saying that, Silver Lake wasn’t too far behind with its 8.6% rise.
Fellow miner (although not of yellow metal) Iluka Resources was also a big beneficiary of investors’ love last week. There was no major news out of the miner, although Iluka’s star has been on the rise for a few months now.
Finally, insurer QBE was also hot property. Investors seemed to be buoyed by the company’s annual general meeting during the week.
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)||36.25||$274.51||$320.42||$242|
|Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA)||20.89||$93.92||$94.10||$58.65|
|Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC)||22.33||$26.09||$26.40||$14.91|
|Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ)||16.81||$27.75||$29.55||$15.07|
|National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB)||24.68||$26.78||$27.84||$15.11|
|Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG)||8.59||$22.97||$26.40||$10.96|
|Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW)||35.18||$39.42||$42.57||$33.82|
|Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES)||32.72||$54.26||$56.40||$36.01|
|BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP)||28.09||$50.09||$50.93||$30.10|
|Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO)||16.33||$127.11||$130.30||$81.08|
|Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL)||20.51||$16.13||$19.26||$14.95|
|Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS)||23.29||$3.47||$3.58||$2.66|
|Transurban Group (ASX: TCL)||–||$14||$15.64||$12.36|
|Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD)||–||$5.92||$7.49||$4.99|
|Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM)||17.58||$27.33||$38.15||$23.08|
|Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL)||–||$23.26||$27.60||$16.80|
|Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG)||23.94||$158.45||$162.06||$97.91|
|Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT)||–||$95.38||$160.05||$38.51|
And finally, here is the lay of the land for some leading market indicators:
- S&P/ASX 200 Index (XJO) at 7,080.8 points.
- All Ordinaries Index (XAO) at 7,325.2 points.
- Dow Jones Industrial Average at 34,778 points after rising 0.66% on Friday night (our time).
- Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) going for US$57,986 per coin.
- Gold (spot) swapping hands for US$1,831 per troy ounce.
- Iron ore asking US$209 per tonne.
- Crude oil (Brent) trading at US$68.28 per barrel.
- Australian dollar buying 78.45 US cents.
- 10-year Australian Government bonds yielding 1.62% per annum.
That’s all folks. See you next week!