The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has just delivered investors an additional week of gains to record yet another new all-time high. After May gave the ASX 200 a total of three new high watermarks, June is off to a flying start, with the ASX 200 hitting 7,300 points during intra-day trading for the first time ever on Friday.
The index also closed at a record high of 7,295.4 points on Friday afternoon. So another week, another record high. Let’s talk about what pushed the ASX 200 up last week.
Well, for starters, we got a few economic announcements last week that was conducive to higher shares. Firstly, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) kept the cash rate at the record low of 0.1% when the RBA’s board held its monthly meeting on Tuesday. While this move probably surprised no one given the RBA’s comments on what needs to happen in the economy to see higher rates, it still reaffirms that the share market is one of the few places a substantial yield is available in this current climate.
Secondly, we got some data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Wednesday that should be universally celebrated. The Australian economy is now 0.8% larger than where it was prior to the pandemic. The ABS’ GDP figures showed that the economy grew 1.8% in the quarter ending 31 March 2021, as well as 1.1% annually.
Strong economic growth is obviously a good sign for ASX companies. As such, this news would probably have given investors a confidence boost. We can see this in the healthy show the ASX 200 put on on Wednesday (more on that in a minute).
Banks and miners push ASX 200 higher
But the ASX 200 can’t rise without the major blue-chip shares within it rising as well. And that’s exactly what we saw last week. The ASX banks and big miners led the ASX 200’s gains. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) continued to build on its recent momentum and pushed well past the $100 per share threshold it broke just a few weeks ago. It managed to put on another 1.9% last week to push above $102 per share. The other 3 major banks also had top weeks, with Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) making a new 52-week high.
A once-again rising iron ore price (which pushed back over US$200 per tonne over the week) also gave a big boost to BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP), Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG). Fortescue shares shone especially brightly with a 3.84% gain for the week. Rising oil prices also helped push the ASX energy sector much higher, with Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) pushing nearly 9% higher over the week.
As seems to be the case these days, the only ASX sectors showing significant losses in the face of this rising ASX 200 tide were tech shares and gold miners. On the latter, ASX gold shares went backwards over the week, after a couple of strong weeks of performance thanks to a rising gold price. Last week, gold prices got somewhat stuck in the mud, and investors subsequently seemed to lose their zeal for the sector (more on this later).
Likewise, investors may still be getting jitters over the tech sector’s exposure to higher interest rates down the road, and backed out of shares like Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) and Appen Ltd (ASX: APX). This follows a similar pattern to what happened on the US markets over the week.
How did the markets end the week?
The ASX 200 started the week at 7,179.5 points and ended up at 7,295.4 points for a healthy week-to-week gain of 1.61%. Mondy and Tuesday started things off on the wrong foot with back-to-back losses of 0.25% and 0.27% respectively. But Wednesday’s strong economic figures changed a few hearts and minds out there it seems since the ASX 200 put on a healthy 1.05% gain that day. This was backed up on both Thursday and Friday with gains of 0.59% and 0.49% respectively.
Meanwhile, the All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) also fared very well. The All Ords started out at 7,424 points and finished up at 7,543.3 points for a congruent gain of 1.61%.
Which ASX 200 shares were the biggest winners and losers?
Put the coffee on, because it’s time for our Foolish gossip pages where we look at the ASX 200’s best winners and poorest losers of the week. So, as always, let’s start with the losers:
|Worst ASX 200 losers||% loss for the week|
|Nuix Ltd (ASX: NXL)||(23.2%)|
|Silver Lake Resources Limited (ASX: SLR)||(12.6%)|
|Mesoblast Limited (ASX: MSB)||(8.9%)|
|Appen Ltd (ASX: APX)||(8.9%)|
Nuix was the ASX 200 wooden spooner last week, with a hefty loss of 23.2%. This ASX newcomer has been a disappointing investment since its initial public offering (IPO) last year, and things got a lot worse for investors last week. Nuix nit a new low on Friday of $2.57 per share and closed just above that at $2.59. The catalyst for this move was yet another earnings guidance downgrade from the company.
Silver Lake Resources was also a poor performer last week. This ASX gold miner led the losses in its sector with a 12.6% fall. As mentioned above, falling gold prices and a risk-on market at record highs left gold miners unloved last week.
Health care company Mesoblast was also in the firing line last week. A third-quarter update had investors hitting the sell button after the company reported that its losses were widening.
And finally, tech company Appen was also left in the cold. The tech sector was having a rough time of it anyway last week. But when the markets found out Appen CEO Mark Bryan had recently sold a large parcel of shares, it evidently wasn’t in a forgiving mood.
Now with the losers out of the way, let’s have a look at last week’s winning ASX 200 shares:
|Best ASX 200 gainers||% gain for the week|
|Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG)||15.7%|
|Worley Ltd (ASX: WOR)||15.6%|
|Inghams Group Ltd (ASX: ING)||12.3%|
|Santos Ltd (ASX: STO)||12.2%|
Energy generator and retailer Origin was the ASX 200’s best performing share last week, putting on an extra 15.7%. That was despite no major news out of the company. It’s possible investors were responding to some love from brokers last week. Or otherwise, the news that rival AGL Energy Limited (ASX: AGL) may need to pursue a capital raise to fund its demerger ambitions might be increasing Origin’s appeal.
Engineering company Worley was also feeling the love last week. This move upward seems to have been sparked by an investor day event Worley held last week.
Poultry company Inghams was also sharing the sunshine. Inghams shares are now up close to 22% since 27 May, when the company released a well-received trading update. Last week’s moves appear to be an extension of that momentum.
And finally, ASX energy share Santos was also in demand last week. As we discussed above, energy prices had a strong week, with Brent crude now back above US$70 per barrel for the first time since the pandemic started. This has benefitted Santos shares the most in their sector and the company is now up more than 20% year to date.
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 commence yet another week on the ASX boards:
|ASX 200 company||Trailing P/E ratio||Last share price||52-week high||52-week low|
|CSL Limited (ASX: CSL)||38.72||$291.37||$320.42||$242|
|Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA)||22.8||$102.52||$102.64||$62.64|
|Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC)||22.99||$26.87||$26.88||$16|
|Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ)||17.69||$29.20||$29.55||$16.40|
|National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB)||21.11||$27.51||$27.84||$16.56|
|Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG)||8.64||$22.97||$26.40||$13.56|
|Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW)||38.69||$43.35||$43.46||$35.37|
|Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES)||33.31||$55.24||$56.44||$40.80|
|BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP)||27.51||$48.75||$51.82||$33.73|
|Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO)||16.11||$124.62||$132.94||$90.04|
|Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL)||21.67||$17.04||$19.26||$15.15|
|Transurban Group (ASX: TCL)||–||$14.27||$15.64||$12.36|
|Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD)||–||$6.12||$7.49||$4.99|
|Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM)||17.77||$27.45||$38.15||$23.08|
|Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL)||–||$24.07||$27.60||$16.80|
|Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG)||18.68||$154||$162.06||$111.25|
|Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT)||–||$94.48||$160.05||$47.09|
And finally, here is the lay of the land for some leading market indicators:
- S&P/ASX 200 Index (XJO) at 7,295.4 points.
- All Ordinaries Index (XAO) at 7,543.3 points.
- Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJX: .DJI) at 34,756 points after rising 0.52% on Friday night (our time).
- Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) going for US$35,815 per coin.
- Gold (spot) swapping hands for US$1,891 per troy ounce.
- Iron ore asking US$205.62 per tonne.
- Crude oil (Brent) trading at US$71.89 per barrel.
- Australian dollar buying 77.41 US cents.
- 10-year Australian Government bonds yielding 1.69% per annum.
That’s all folks. See you next week!