The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) capped off its fifth week in a row in the green last week, rising once again to hit yet another all-time high during the week. This one above 7,400 points.
Just a few months ago, 7,000 points might have seemed far fetched for investors, who watched as the ASX 200 seemed to sit at a level of 6,600-6,800 points for around 3-4 months. But ever since things kicked into a higher gear back in early April, records have seemingly been dropping every week or so.
First, it was the pre-COVID all-time high of 7,162 points that fell back in early May. Then it was 7,200 points, followed by 7,300 and now 7,400.
So what went so right last week to push the ASX to even greater heights? Well, it wasn’t the big miners for one. ASX resources giants like BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP), Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) were big drivers behind the rallies we have seen over the past month or two – egged on by rampaging iron ore prices. But these miners were in the red last week. BHP fell around 5%, Fortescue around 3.5% and Rio dropped a bit more than 1%. As did gold miners, come to think of it.
ASX 200 miners down, banks and tech up
But making up for these losses somewhat were the ASX banks. After an uninspiring five days in the week prior, the major banks were back on form. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) enjoyed gains of more than 2%, as did Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ). National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) was the banking laggard, but still managed a substantial gain of 1.5%.
But the real hero sector last week was ASX tech shares. The tech sector had a motza last week. The S&P/ASX All Technology Index (ASX: XTX) was up a hefty 4.4%. But prominent tech shares like Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT), Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) and Xero Limited (ASX: XRO) were on fire.
Afterpay managed a rise of more than 10%, comfortably rising to nearly $115 per share after spending much of the past two months below $100. Zip fared even better, putting on an additional 13.8% to $8.14. Xero managed a healthy 6% bump to over $142 per share. Even Nuix Ltd (ASX: NXL) managed a 1.13% rise.
ASX healthcare shares also had a great week. CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) had a corker, adding 3% over last week to hit more than $300 per share again for the first time since December last year. Other healthcare shares in Pro Medicus Limited (ASX: PME) and ResMed Inc (ASX: RMD) managed double-digit gains (more on that later).
How did the markets end the week?
As you might have gathered, quite well despite the shorter trading week. Tuesday got things off to a good start with a 0.92% gain. This was backed up by another 0.09% on Wednesday. Thursday brought the only red day of the week, with the ASX 200 shedding 0.37%. But this was reversed somewhat with Friday’s 0.13% gain.
Overall, the ASX 200 started the week at 7,312.3 points and finished up at 7,369.9 points – a gain of 0.79% overall.
Meanwhile, the All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) also had a great week. The All Ords started out at 7,577.2 points and finished up at 7,624.3 points – a rise of 0.62%.
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 get the chins a-wagging as we, as always, start with the losers:
|Worst ASX 200 losers||% loss for the week|
|Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST)||(13.9%)|
|Oz Minerals Limited (ASX: OZL)||(12.2%)|
|Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC)||(9%)|
|Austal Limited (ASX: ASB)||(8.1%)|
As you can see, the ASX 200’s wooden spooner share last week was gold miner Northern Star. As we flagged earlier, ASX gold miners did not have a great week overall, and Northern Star seemed to cop the brunt of this.
Last week, the US Federal Reserve somewhat changed its tune on interest rates and inflation. The Fed changed its language on future interest rates and seemed to suggest they could now go up a lot sooner than what was previously flagged. Gold is sensitive to interest rates due to its lack of yield. As such, gold prices were smashed last week, and the share prices of the ASX companies which mine it followed suit.
But gold wasn’t the only commodity on the nose last week. Copper miner Oz Minerals was also in the firing line. A pricing retreat from recent record highs is likely at play here.
Another commodity company in coal miner Whitehaven also made the list. Whitehaven issued some revised guidance last week. The company flagged that its Narrabri, NSW mine is now expected to produce 4.1 million tonnes of coal in FY21, down from the previous estimate of 6 to 6.7 million tonnes. Investors evidently weren’t impressed.
Whitehaven wasn’t the only one issuing disappointing guidance either. Shipbuilding company Austal also told investors to lower their expectations for FY21. Instead of the $125 million in earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) that was previously expected, the company now anticipates EBIT of $112 to $118 million. It got a similar reaction to Whitehaven from investors in response.
Now with the losers out of the way, let’s check out last week’s winners:
|Best ASX 200 gainers||% gain for the week|
|Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P)||13.9%|
|ResMed Inc (ASX: RMD)||12.5%|
|Pro Medicus Limited (ASX: PME)||10.9%|
|HUB24 Ltd (ASX: HUB)||10.7%|
Well, last week’s best ASX 200 share ended up being the aforementioned Zip Co. Zip shares were on fire last week, rising close to 14%. No news was out from the buy now, pay later (BNPL) company, so it seems as though Zip was just benefitting from the resurging market for ASX tech shares.
Another aforementioned share in Resmed was next. ResMed seemed to also benefit from rising sentiment for ASX health care shares. News that one of its rivals has had to conduct a big recall wouldn’t have hurt either.
Pro Medicus was another ASX share that seems to have just been the beneficiary of increased demand for high growth, tech style companies last week. And it was a similar story with tech-based wealth management platform provider HUB24.
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)||40.23||$305.52||$320.42||$242|
|Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA)||23.06||$103.69||$105.40||$62.64|
|Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC)||23||$26.88||$26.98||$16|
|Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ)||17.56||$28.98||$29.55||$16.40|
|National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB)||20.62||$26.87||$27.84||$16.56|
|Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG)||8.36||$22.42||$26.40||$13.56|
|Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS)||23.96||$3.57||$3.61||$2.66|
|Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW)||38.09||$42.67||$44.06||$35.66|
|Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES)||34.81||$57.72||$58.40||$42.33|
|BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP)||26.02||$46.52||$51.82||$33.73|
|Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO)||15.82||$123.47||$132.94||$90.04|
|Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL)||20.8||$16.36||$19.26||$15.28|
|Transurban Group (ASX: TCL)||–||$14.93||$15.64||$12.36|
|Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD)||–||$6.07||$7.49||$4.99|
|Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM)||16.65||$25.96||$38.15||$23.08|
|Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL)||–||$23.20||$27.60||$16.80|
|Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG)||18.71||$154.26||$162.06||$114.50|
|Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT)||–||$114.40||$160.05||$55.30|
And finally, here is the lay of the land for some leading market indicators:
- S&P/ASX 200 Index (XJO) at 7,368.9 points.
- All Ordinaries Index (XAO) at 7,624.3 points.
- Dow Jones Industrial Average Index (DJX: .DJI) at 33,290 points after falling 1.58% on Friday night (our time).
- Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) going for US$35,490 per coin.
- Gold (spot) swapping hands for US$1,764 per troy ounce.
- Iron ore asking US$214.10 per tonne.
- Crude oil (Brent) trading at US$73.51 per barrel.
- Australian dollar buying 74.8 US cents.
- 10-year Australian Government bonds yielding 1.59% per annum.
That’s all folks. See you next week!