Fresh from the new highs of recent weeks, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) more or less ground to a halt last week, finishing the week essentially flat, despite hitting another incremental new all-time high on Tuesday afternoon.
It was a muted week for ASX 200 shares. There were few major gains outside the mining sector, which has continued to roar higher on record commodity prices, a falling Australian dollar and cash-gushing dividend payments.
The week was almost defined by the jaw-dropping announcement on Wednesday that Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) would be paying out more than $12 billion for its next interim dividend. Rio announced a monster US$5.61 payout, which was a record high, and a 143% increase on Rio’s last interim payment. Investors responded accordingly, sending Rio shares up to a new all-time high of their own by Friday, as well as up almost 5% for the week.
This goodwill spilled over into other ASX miners like BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP), which enjoyed a gain of 4.3% for the week.
ASX miners up, tech shares down
Meanwhile, the ASX banks were pretty flat last week. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ) both recorded slight bumps (CBA won with its 0.5% gain). Conversely, National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) both fell slightly. In the former’s case, this was despite NAB announcing a $2.5 billion share buyback program on Friday.
Perhaps the worst hit sector last week was ASX technology shares. ASX tech leader Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT)’s shares lost almost 10% over the week, including 5.2% just on Friday. Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) fared a little better, but still lost more than 6% over the week. Xero Limited (ASX: XRO) fared better still, down almost 2%. But Appen Ltd (ASX: APX), Redbubble Ltd (ASX: RBL) and Nuix Ltd (ASX: NXL) really got crunched, all falling more than 10%.
This may have been, partially at least, a reaction to the poor earnings of the e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN), which were released over in the US on Thursday night (our time) and saw the company lose more than 7% of its value the next day.
Amazon seems to be something of a guiding light for tech shares around the world these days, so this seems to have weighed on the ASX tech sector. Another issue that might have been spooking growth investors is the recent government crackdown on listed companies over in China.
How did the markets end the week?
Last week’s ASX 200 performance is reminiscent of a sewing machine – lots of ups and downs. Monday saw the ASX 200 start the week with a small loss of 0.05%. Tuesday then gave us some green, with a gain of 0.5%. Wednesday saw another day of losses, with the ASX 200 down 0.7%. Thursday then reversed this somewhat with a gain of 0.52%. But Friday’s loss of 0.33% sealed the ASX 200’s losses for the week.
Overall, since the ASX 200 started the week out at 7,394.4 points and finished up at 7,392.6 points, its loss for the week stands at 0.02%.
Meanwhile, the All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) also went backwards, albeit slightly. The All Ords started off at 7,670.9 points and finished up at 7,664.2 points – a loss of 0.09% for the week.
Which ASX 200 shares were the biggest winners and losers?
Time now for our most salacious segment, where we check out the ASX 200’s biggest winners and poorest losers of the week. So boil the kettle and fetch the biscuits as we, as always, start with the losers:
|Worst ASX 200 losers||% loss for the week|
|Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN)||(14.1%)|
|A2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M)||(13.6%)|
|Nuix Ltd (ASX: NXL)||(11.7%)|
|Appen Ltd (ASX: APX)||(11.1%)|
As is evident, the ASX 200’s wooden spooner share from last week was none other than embattled casino operator Crown Resorts. Crown shares have not taken the news that rival Star Entertainment Group Ltd (ASX: SGR) isn’t interested in a merger at the present time too well. With last week’s losses, the company is now down almost 15% since Star left Crown at the alter on 23 July.
Next up was another company that has been disappointing investors in 2021 so far – A2 Milk. After a recent spurt of share price appreciation, A2 shares fell a nasty 13.5% last week. It seems that all the talk of regulatory crackdowns in China might have been scaring investors off a bit. A2’s rival Bubs Australia Ltd (ASX: BUB) also delivered a poorly-received quarterly report last week, which could also have given investors the jitters.
Nuix was up next, with the troubled tech company serving up yet another week of disappointment for investors. There was no major news out of Nuix last week, so perhaps investors were just throwing the baby out with the bathwater as part of the broader tech selloff in this case.
And we can probably say the same for annotated dataset provider Appen.
Now with the losers out of the way, let’s now check out last week’s winners:
|Best ASX 200 gainers||% gain for the week|
|Lynas Rare Earths Ltd (ASX: LYC)||14.2%|
|Champion Iron Ltd (ASX: CIA)||12.4%|
|Iress Ltd (ASX: IRE)||9.3%|
|Oz Minerals Limited (ASX: OZL)||9.3%|
Well, the ASX 200’s biggest winner last week was rare earths producer Lynas. The big 14.3% gain seemed to be the result of a quarterly update Lynas released on Monday. This showed the company increasing sales revenue, rare earths production and prices. No wonder investors were feeling inspired.
Champion Iron was another commodities company that had a week to remember. In this case, a quarterly update of its own, which again included rising revenues and selling prices, seemed to be the catalyst here. The fortunes of Champion’s fellow iron ore miners in BHP and Rio last week likely also helped.
Turning to a financial company in Iress, and we seem to have a takeover offer to thank for the strong gains enjoyed here. This offer came from EQT Fund Management and is offering to acquire all shares for a price of $15.30-$15.50 per share. This clearly got investors excited, despite the fact the company rejected a slightly lower offer from EQT last month.
And finally, we had copper miner Oz Minerals. Oz was yet another beneficiary of a well-received quarterly update. In this case, Oz Minerals managed to up its guidance for FY2021 on high production levels. Evidently not something too many investors had a problem with.
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 begin the month of August on the share market today:
|ASX 200 company||Last share price||Trailing P/E ratio||Trailing Dividend Yield||52-week high||52-week low|
|CSL Limited (ASX: CSL)||$288.91||36.44||0.98%||$320.42||$242|
|Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA)||$99.65||22.16||2.49%||$106.57||$62.64|
|Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC)||$24.52||20.98||3.63%||$27.12||$16|
|Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ)||$27.71||16.79||3.79%||$29.64||$16.40|
|National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB)||$25.93||19.9||3.47%||$27.84||$16.56|
|Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG)||$156.90||19.03||3%||$162.06||$118.36|
|Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG)||$24.91||8.89||9.92%||$26.49||$15.62|
|BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP)||$53.49||28.65||3.86%||$54.55||$33.73|
|Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO)||$133.42||8.52||4.6%||$136.90||$90.04|
|Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM)||$26.49||16.27||1.65%||$37.26||$23.08|
|Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL)||$21.91||–||2.35%||$27.60||$16.80|
|Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS)||$3.78||25.37||4.23%||$3.82||$2.66|
|Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW)||$38.76||34.6||2.61%||$44.06||$35.96|
|Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES)||$61.14||36.87||2.7%||$62.69||$43.50|
|Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL)||$17.49||22.24||3.46%||$19.26||$15.28|
|Transurban Group (ASX: TCL)||$14.30||–||2.55%||$15.64||$12.36|
|Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD)||$7.81||–||–||$8.04||$4.99|
|Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT)||$96.66||–||–||$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 7,392.6 points.
- All Ordinaries Index (XAO) at 7,664.2 points.
- Dow Jones Industrial Average Index (DJX: .DJI) at 34,935 points after falling 0.42% on Friday night (our time).
- Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) going for US$41,640 per coin.
- Gold (spot) swapping hands for US$1,814 per troy ounce.
- Iron ore asking US$179.81 per tonne.
- Crude oil (Brent) trading at US$75.41 per barrel.
- Australian dollar buying 73.46 US cents.
- 10-year Australian Government bonds yielding 1.18% per annum.
That’s all folks!