These were the best performing ASX 200 shares last week

Thanks to a strong finish on Friday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was able to push ever so slightly higher …

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Thanks to a strong finish on Friday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was able to push ever so slightly higher last week to end at 7,308.6 points.

A number of ASX 200 shares recorded notably stronger gains over the period. Here’s why these were the best performers on the index:

IDP Education Ltd (ASX: IEL)

The IDP Education share price was the best performer on the ASX 200 last week with a gain of 17.8%. All of this gain occurred on Friday in response to the announcement of a major new acquisition. The language testing and student placement company is acquiring 100% of the British Council’s Indian International English Language Testing System operations for 130 million pounds (A$240 million). The deal will mean that IDP Education is the sole distributor of IELTS in the massive Indian market.

Mineral Resources Limited (ASX: MIN)

The Mineral Resources share price was some way behind as the next best performer with a 9.5% gain. This appears to have been driven by a bullish broker note from a week earlier. Thanks to rising commodity prices, Macquarie has put an outperform rating and $73.00 price target on the company’s shares. It likes the company due to its exposure to both iron ore and lithium. The Mineral Resources share price ended the week at $55.54.

Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (ASX: HVN)

The Harvey Norman share price wasn’t far behind with an 8.1% gain over the five days. This was despite there being no news out of the retail giant. However, investors may believe the recent outbreak of COVID-19 across several Australian states could be another boost to sales like this time last year.

Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX: CUV)

The Clinuvel share price was a solid performer, rising 5.8% over the week. Once again, this was despite there being no news out of the biopharmaceutical company. Though, the company recently announced that its afamelanotide drug has been administered to a first patient diagnosed with an acute arterial ischaemic stroke (AIS). This patient was enrolled in a world’s first clinical trial (CUV801) after suffering an acute stroke and being admitted to a specialist neurological hospital in Australia to receive treatment. Investors may be optimistic that the result from this trial will be positive.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended Idp Education Pty Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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