The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has decisively shaken off the malaise of the previous week to post a bumper week of gains, pushing the ASX 200 to close last week at a record high level. It was a dramatic week of trading on the ASX 200 last week, with the flagship index posting a gain of 0.6%, enough to push it to close at a record high of 7,394.4 points.
The ASX 200 has, of course, seen higher levels than this, hitting more than 7,400 points last month for the first time ever. Even so, Friday’s close represents the highest level the ASX 200 has ever closed at. Semantics, perhaps, but still worthy of note.
So what happened on the share market last week that resulted in such an occurrence? Well, solid performances from most ASX 200 blue chips, as well as in the tech sector, all pulled it together.
ASX 200 blue chips rise, miners fall
Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES), Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) and Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) helped to step on the gas. Each of these companies managed gains of more than 3% last week, with Wesfarmers shares rising by an impressive 4.75% to close at a new all-time high of $61.93 per share on Friday. Woolies shares also hit a new post-demerger high of their own on Friday.
But perhaps the biggest contributors to the ASX 200’s heights last week were healthcare shares. This sector was up big across the board last week. CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) was a standout performer, putting on almost 6%. But other ASX healthcare shares like Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH), Sonic Healthcare Limited (ASX: SHL) and Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX: RHC) also performed well.
Some ASX tech shares also joined the party. We saw big moves upward from the usual suspects in Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) and Xero Limited (ASX: XRO). While Nuix Ltd (ASX: NXL) was a standout performer, rising close to 10% (more on that later).
As it turns out, the only major detractor for the ASX last week was the resources sector. After rising to record highs in the week prior, the big miners like BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP), Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) went backwards last week. Rio shares were down more than 2.7% over the week that was, while BHP and Fortescue were both down by more than 1%.
How did the markets end the week?
Rather well, as you might have guessed. Monday and Tuesday both saw the ASX 200 start the week on the wrong foot, with back-to-back losses of 0.85% and 0.46%, respectively. But it was all upside from there. Wednesday turned the ship around with a gain of 0.78%. This was followed up with further gains of 1.06% on Thursday and 0.11% on Friday. In the end, the ASX 200 stared out at 7,348.1 points and finished up at 7,394.4 points for an overall gain of 0.63% for the week.
Meanwhile, the All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) also enjoyed a week in the sun. The All Ords started off at 7,630.7 points and finished up at 7,670.9 points – placing its gains at 0.53% for the week.
Which ASX 200 shares were the biggest winners and losers?
It’s now Foolish gossip pages time, where we scandalously peek at the ASX 200’s biggest winners and poorest losers of the week. So put the kettle on as we, as always, start with the losers:
|Worst ASX 200 losers||% loss for the week|
|Silver Lake Resources Limited (ASX: SLR)||(11.3%)|
|Altium Limited (ASX: ALU)||(9.4%)|
|Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN)||(9.4%)|
|Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN)||(8.4%)|
ASX tech share Altium also had a clanger last week, shedding close to 10%. This downwards move comes after Altium put an end to takeover talks with the US company Autodesk. Autodesk had upped its offer for Altium from $38.50 to $40 per share, but in the end, the circuit board design software company said no cigar.
Silver Lake’s fellow gold digger Evolution Mining was also in the wars last week. This seemed to be a response to a number of broker downgrades that hit Evolution shares over the week. Things would have been a lot worse for this gold miner if it weren’t for the near-4.5% bump it got on Friday. This came after Evolution announced it would be buying some mining assets from another gold miner in Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST).
Finally, we had the embattled casino operator Crown Resorts. Crown shares tanked after rival Star Entertainment Group Ltd (ASX: SGR) revealed it was no longer interested in a merger, at least for now.
Now with the losers out of the way, let’s check out the ASX 200 winner’s from last week:
|Best ASX 200 gainers||% gain for the week|
|Polynovo Ltd (ASX: PNV)||10.2%|
|Iluka Resources Limited (ASX: ILU)||10%|
|Nuix Ltd (ASX: NXL)||9.8%|
|CIMIC Group Ltd (ASX: CIM)||9.4%|
Last week’s ASX 200 winner was healthcare company Polynovo. Investors were clambering to pick up shares of this company last week, despite no major news or announcements out. Until the end of the previous week, Polynovo had been on quite a long slide, so perhaps some bargain-hunting investors finally saw some value.
Miner Iluka was also on form last week, rising 10%. In this case, it seems a quarterly update was the source of investors’ optimism here. Iluka announced a 75% jump in revenues for the quarter on Thursday, alongside a 71% surge in zircon production.
The aforementioned tech share Nuix was our third ASX 200 winner last week, despite no major news or announcements. Like Polynovo, Nuix had previously been exploring new share price depths, so this might have been the result of some value-driven buying here.
Finally, we had engineering company CIMIC. In this case, it was a set of half-yearly results that seemed to catch eyes last week. The company reported rises in both revenues and profits for the 6 months to 30 June 2021. On the former, the company managed an increase of 10.6%. Clearly, more than one investor was impressed.
A wrap of the ASX 200 blue-chip shares
Before we… wrap things up, here is a look at how the ASX 200’s blue-chip shares are looking as we start the last trading week of July:
|ASX 200 company||Last share price||Trailing P/E ratio||Trailing Dividend Yield||52-week high||52-week low|
|CSL Limited (ASX: CSL)||$293.48||36.86||0.96%||$320.42||$242|
|Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA)||$99.12||22.05||2.5%||$106.57||$62.64|
|Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC)||$24.71||21.15||3.6%||$27.12||$16|
|Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ)||$27.69||16.78||3.79%||$29.64||$16.40|
|National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB)||$26.04||19.99||3.46%||$27.84||$16.56|
|Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG)||$157.70||19.12||2.98%||$162.06||$118.36|
|Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG)||$25.25||8.98||9.78%||$26.40||$15.62|
|BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP)||$51.27||27.35||4.03%||$51.91||$33.73|
|Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO)||$127.10||15.53||4.83%||$132.94||$90.04|
|Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM)||$26.17||16.01||1.67%||$38.15||$23.08|
|Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL)||$22.34||–||2.31%||$27.60||$16.80|
|Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS)||$3.77||25.3||4.24%||$3.80||$2.66|
|Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW)||$39.52||35.27||2.56%||$44.06||$35.96|
|Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES)||$61.93||37.35||2.66%||$61.93||$43.50|
|Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL)||$17.61||22.39||3.44%||$19.26||$15.28|
|Transurban Group (ASX: TCL)||$14.34||–||2.55%||$15.64||$12.36|
|Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD)||$7.80||–||–||$8.04||$4.99|
|Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT)||$106.70||–||–||$160.05||$65.53|
And finally, here is the lay of the land for some leading market indicators:
- S&P/ASX 200 Index (XJO) at 7,394.4 points.
- All Ordinaries Index (XAO) at 7,670.9 points.
- Dow Jones Industrial Average Index (DJX: .DJI) at 35,061.6 points after rising 0.68% on Friday night (our time).
- Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) going for US$34,345 per coin.
- Gold (spot) swapping hands for US$1,802 per troy ounce.
- Iron ore asking US$197 per tonne.
- Crude oil (Brent) trading at US$74.10 per barrel.
- Australian dollar buying 73.64 US cents.
- 10-year Australian Government bonds yielding 1.2% per annum.
That’s all folks!