The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has just capped off an extraordinary week. The index managed to eke out a small gain, despite enduring a dramatic mid-week sell-off, which saw the ASX 200 lose close to 2% on one day. That was the ASX’s largest one-day loss in just under 3 months.
Despite this, four other days of gains saw the index just manage a 0.2% rise for the week, which took the ASX 200 to 7,030 points. That’s still a good 2% below the new all-time high we saw the index make a fortnight ago.
So what prompted the rather high levels of volatility we saw last week? Well, there was all kinds of money moving around, which seemed to spark a lot of the market gyrations. To start things off, the ASX banks had a fairly tame week, falling pretty much in line with the market on Wednesday, and rising with it on Thursday and Friday.
The exception was Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), which lost close to 3% on Wednesday. But that might reflect the recent high share prices CBA has been making of late. It remains the only ASX big four bank to have outperformed its 2015 all-time high, reached in 2021. Indeed, it even hit a new record high of $98.84 on Tuesday.
But the same can’t be said of the big ASX miners. BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP), Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO), and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) all had clangers last week. BHP fell more than 4% over the week, losing close to 1% on Thursday — a day the ASX 200 added more than 1%. Rio and Fortescue followed similar trajectories. The catalyst for these moves was (of course) further weakness in the iron ore price, which continued to descend from its all-time highs to under US$200 per tonne last week.
ASX energy shares were also in the firing line, as reports that Iranian oil might be rejoining the global supply for the first time in years circulated during the week. Woodside Petroleum Ltd (ASX: WPL) shares had lost 4.3% by Friday afternoon.
ASX 200 ups and downs
ASX energy shares were also in the firing line, as reports that Iranian oil might be rejoining the global supply for the first time in years circulated during the week. Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) shares had lost 4.3% by Friday afternoon. But ASX gold miners were one sector that seemed to pick up some of the money flowing out of other commodities. The largest of these, Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM), put on 0.54%. But some of the mid-tier miners were far more attractive propositions for investors. Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) added 6.74%, whereas Gold Road Resources Ltd (ASX: GOR) managed a hefty 9.77% gain.
We also continued to see whipsawing volatility in ASX tech shares, as well as for cryptocurrencies. The most dramatic of these had to be EML Payments Ltd (ASX: EML). EML suffered a rare and brutal 50% sell-off on Wednesday after the company disclosed it was under investigation by the Irish Government over alleged money laundering on its platform.
Kogan.com Ltd (ASX: KGN) was also in investors’ bad books after a less-than well-received trading update. Put simply, Kogan isn’t growing as fast as it hoped in the aftermath of the pandemic last year. It also flagged some inventory issues and increased costs. Investors weren’t impressed and sent Kogan shares to a new 52-week low.
In contrast, beaten down buy now, pay later shares Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) and Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) shrugged off previous share price weakness and rallied over the week. As for Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC), it (along with most other cryptocurrencies) had a shocking week, plummeting to a multi-month low of close to US$30,000 per coin on Wednesday. It then rallied back to around US$40,000 on Thursday, before again retreating back to around US$33,000 per coin at the time of writing. Just another week for Bitcoin holders I guess.
How did the markets end the week?
Well, the ASX 200 started the week out at 7,014.2 points and finished up at 7,030.3 points, making it a 0.23% gain for the index for the week. As we mentioned earlier, Wednesday was the only day in the red last week for the ASX 200. But what a day it was – delivering a 1.9% drop.
Despite this, we saw ASX 200 shares add 0.13% and 0.6% on Monday and Tuesday respectively. Following Wednesday, we had a 1.27% gain on Thursday and another 0.23% on top for Friday. That was enough to keep the week in the green overall.
Meanwhile, the All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) also fared mildly well. The All Ords started out at 7,239.4 points and finished up at 7,265.3 points for a gain of 0.36%.
Which ASX 200 shares were the biggest winners and losers?
Time now for our most salacious segment, where we compare the ASX 200’s best winners and poorest losers. Put the kettle on, and we’ll start with the losers:
|Worst ASX 200 losers||% loss for the week|
|EML Payments Ltd (ASX: EML)||(34.6%)|
|Kogan.com Ltd (ASX: KGN)||(14%)|
|Monadelphous Group Limited (ASX: MND)||(10%)|
|Iluka Resources Limited (ASX: ILU)||(9.8%)|
The aforementioned EML Payments was the ASX’s wooden spooner last week, with its hefty 34.6% loss. EML starts this week at the lowest share price the company has traded at since November last year. Likewise, the (also aforementioned) Kogan share price is currently exploring old territory. It starts the week at $8.70, close to 70% below the $25.57 all-time high it managed to hit last year. You have to go back to May 2020 to find the last time Kogan hit these prices.
Turning to mining operational company Monadelphous, and there is no obvious reason this company shed a substantial 10% last week. Perhaps investors just wanted a change of flavour. The same can’t be said of miner Iluka Resources. This company gave an update on its Sierra Rutile project last week. The company discussed production issues and announced a reassessment of the whole operation. This evidently did not impress the markets.
Now with the losers out of the way, let’s take a gander at the winning ASX 200 shares:
|Best ASX 200 gainers||% gain for the week|
|Appen Ltd (ASX: APX)||19.4%|
|Xero Limited (ASX: XRO)||13.1%|
|Corporate Travel Management Ltd (ASX: CTD)||11.9%|
|Gold Road Resources Ltd (ASX: GOR)||9.8%|
Last week’s winner Appen is a company that is slowly regaining the trust of investors, it seems. Appen shares were walloped earlier this month after the company’s CEO gave an evidently uninspiring presentation. But things seem to be turning around for Appen in investors’ eyes. The company announced a restructuring plan last week, which seems to have redeemed it somewhat. Appen is now up close to 20% since 14 May. But it’s also down close to 70% from its 2020 all-time high.
Xero is another ASX tech share that seems to be in recovery mode after a tough few weeks. There was no major news out of the accounting software company, so perhaps investors were just seeing a ‘buy-the-dip’ opportunity.
Likewise, there wasn’t a lot of official reasons why Corporate Travel Management shares were in demand last week. Perhaps the ongoing vaccine rollouts are giving investors some optimism with this one. And finally, Gold Road Resources was the best performing ASX gold miner last week. Gold prices have been on the rise again recently after a couple of month of stagnation. Gold Road appears to be the favourite play here.
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)||37.96||$284.30||$320.42||$242|
|Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA)||21.81||$98.05||$98.84||$58.65|
|Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC)||21.95||$25.65||$26.43||$14.99|
|Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ)||16.96||$28||$29.55||$15.19|
|National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB)||20.32||$26.47||$27.84||$15.22|
|Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG)||8.43||$22.30||$26.40||$12.95|
|Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW)||37.02||$41.48||$42.57||$33.82|
|Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES)||32.69||$54.21||$56.40||$38.08|
|BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP)||27.08||$47.75||$51.82||$33.73|
|Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO)||15.86||$122.12||$132.94||$90.04|
|Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL)||21.11||$16.60||$19.26||$14.97|
|Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS)||23.02||$3.43||$3.58||$2.66|
|Transurban Group (ASX: TCL)||–||$13.84||$15.64||$12.36|
|Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD)||–||$5.85||$7.49||$4.99|
|Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM)||18.06||$27.78||$38.15||$23.08|
|Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL)||–||$21.61||$27.60||$16.80|
|Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG)||18.35||$151.28||$162.06||$102.45|
|Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT)||–||$93||$160.05||$41.68|
And finally, here is the lay of the land for some leading market indicators:
- S&P/ASX 200 Index (XJO) at 7,030.3 points.
- All Ordinaries Index (XAO) at 7,265.3 points.
- Dow Jones Industrial Average at 34,208 points after rising 0.36% on Friday night (our time).
- Bitcoin going for US$33,500 per coin.
- Gold (spot) swapping hands for US$1,882 per troy ounce.
- Iron ore asking US$191.60 per tonne.
- Crude oil (Brent) trading at US$66.44 per barrel.
- Australian dollar buying 77.28 US cents.
- 10-year Australian Government bonds yielding 1.67% per annum.
That’s all folks. See you next week!