The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) edged even higher last week, once again breaking a new all-time high. Although the ASX 200 closed at 7,312 points on Friday afternoon, it climbed as high as 7,331 points on Wednesday. But a lot of bouncing around over the week left the index slightly lower by the end of the week, albeit with a week-to-week gain — it’s fourth in a row.
That was despite many of the ASX 200 blue-chip shares having lacklustre weeks. The major ASX banks finished the week more or less flat after a strong performance in recent weeks. A sector that performed even worse was ASX travel shares.
Companies like Qantas Airways Ltd (ASX: QAN), Corporate Travel Management Ltd (ASX: CTD), Webjet Ltd (ASX: WEB) and Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) all fell more than 3% over the week, with Corporate Travel falling more than 6%. Lockdowns in Vitoria, as well as a recent extension of the overseas travel ban by the Federal Government, may have been factors at play here. Other ASX blue chips like Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL), Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) and Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) all fell over the week as well.
Miners, tech shares dominate ASX 200 gains
But in these companies’ place, some other ASX sectors were shining. ASX resources shares had a fairly strong week, with BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP), Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: FMG) and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) all edging higher last week on the back of a robust iron ore price.
Fortescue was the standout iron miner, rising 1.1%. But these weren’t the only miners that enjoyed some green last week. ASX gold miners also put on a strong performance. Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM), Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) and Gold Road Resources Ltd (ASX: GOR) all rose strongly over the period, supported by a bump in the gold price late in the week.
As we touched on earlier, ASX tech shares were standout performers last week. This sector’s gains were lead by Altium Limited (ASX: ALU), which shot up close to 30% over the week. Altium received a takeover offer mid-week from US company Autodesk Inc (NASDAQ: ADSK), which Altium informed investors it had rejected for “undervaluing the company”. Altium’s fellow WAAAXer Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) was also a top performer in the tech space, rising more than 13% over the week.
How did the markets end the week?
It was a bit of a mixed bag for ASX 200 shares last week. Monday kicked things off on the wrong foot with a drop of 0.18%. Tuesday reversed this somewhat with a gain of 0.15%. But Wednesday saw negative sentiment return with another fall of 0.31%.
Investors seemed to shake off the gloom on Thursday and Friday, though, and enjoyed gains of 0.44% and 0.13% respectively, Since the ASX 200 started off at 7,295.4 points and finished up at 7,312.3 points, the week’s gain stands at 0.23%.
Meanwhile, the All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) had an even better week in the green last week. The All Ords started out at 7,543.3 points and finished up at 7,577.2 points, a rise of 0.45%.
Which ASX 200 shares were the biggest winners and losers?
Time now for our most salacious segment, where we look at the ASX 200’s best winners and poorest losers. So put the kettle on and fetch the bikkies, while we, as always, start with the losers:
|Worst ASX 200 losers||% loss for the week|
|NRW Holdings Limited (ASX: NWH)||(7.4%)|
|HUB24 Ltd (ASX: HUB)||(6.4%)|
|Corporate Travel Management Ltd (ASX: CTD)||(6.4%)|
|Virgin Money UK (ASX: VUK)||(5.1%)|
The ASX 200’s wooden spooner last week was mining services company NRW Holdings. Despite its sizable 7.4% fall, there was no real news or announcements out of the company that can easily explain this drop. However, it’s worth noting that the markets have been sending this company down for a while now, with the shares down close to 50% since early February.
Next up was wealth management company HUB24. As with NRW, there was no official catalyst we can point to for the company’s 6.4% fall last week. But unlike NRW, HUB24 has been a top performer in 2021 so far, up almost 19% year to date and more than 32% since early March. Perhaps some good old fashioned profit-taking was at play here.
As we flagged earlier, Corporate Travel Management was another poor performer last week.
And, after a strong few weeks, Virgin Money UK was the worst ASX bank last week, dropping a touch over 5%. Even so, the shares are still up more than 57% year to date.
With the losers out of the way, let’s take a gander at last week’s winners:
|Best ASX 200 gainers||% gain for the week|
|Altium Limited (ASX: ALU)||28.6%|
|Iress Ltd (ASX: IRE)||20.4%|
|Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC)||19%|
|Mesoblast Limited (ASX: MSB)||16.2%|
As you can see, Altium was the best performing share by a mile last week. Given that Autodesk offered up $38.50 per share for the circuit board software company, it’s understandable that investors propelled the company towards this offered price (although it finished up the week at $35).
ASX financial company Iress was also attracting some serious buying pressure last week. This seems to be the result of takeover rumours aswirl. The shares remained up 20% by the end of the week, despite Iress telling the markets that it had in fact, not received any offers as of yet.
Whitehaven Coal also had another strong week, and hit a new 52-week high on Friday. Rising coal prices have been kind to Whitehaven, and the company is now up 26.5% year to date.
And finally, biotech company Mesoblast was also enjoying some time in the sun, despite no real news or announcements coming out of the company last week. Mesoblast is now up 23.5% over the past month.
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)||39.35||$296.64||$320.42||$242|
|Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA)||22.54||$101.36||$102.64||$62.64|
|Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC)||22.5||$26.29||$26.88||$16|
|Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ)||17.11||$28.25||$29.55||$16.40|
|National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB)||20.31||$26.46||$27.84||$16.56|
|Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG)||8.72||$23.22||$26.40||$13.56|
|Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS)||24.02||$3.58||$3.61||$2.66|
|Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW)||38.3||$42.91||$43.87||$35.66|
|Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES)||33.17||$55||$56.67||$40.90|
|BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP)||27.58||$48.95||$51.82||$33.73|
|Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO)||16.12||$124.94||$132.94||$90.04|
|Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL)||21.2||$16.67||$19.26||$15.28|
|Transurban Group (ASX: TCL)||–||$14.32||$15.64||$12.36|
|Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD)||–||$6.04||$7.49||$4.99|
|Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM)||18.3||$28.33||$38.15||$23.08|
|Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL)||–||$23.62||$27.60||$16.80|
|Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG)||18.38||$151.56||$162.06||$111.25|
|Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT)||–||$103.52||$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 7,312.3 points.
- All Ordinaries Index (XAO) at 7,577.2 points.
- Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJX: .DJI) at 34,479.6 points after rising 0.04% on Friday night (our time).
- Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) going for US$38,822 per coin.
- Gold (spot) swapping hands for US$1,862 per troy ounce.
- Iron ore asking US$214.40 per tonne.
- Crude oil (Brent) trading at US$72.69 per barrel.
- Australian dollar buying 77.04 US cents.
- 10-year Australian Government bonds yielding 1.49% per annum.
That’s all folks. See you next week!