These were the worst performers on the ASX 200 last week

These ASX 200 shares were smashed last week…

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It was a tough five days for the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) last week. This led to the benchmark index losing 0.7% of its value over the period to finish at 7,304 points.

While a good number of shares tumbled with the market, some fell more than most. Here’s why they were the worst performers on the index last week:

Mesoblast Limited (ASX: MSB)

The Mesoblast share price was the worst performer on the ASX 200 last week with a massive 21.7% decline. Investors were selling off the allogeneic cellular medicines developer’s shares after Novartis terminated an agreement that could have been worth ~US$1.2 billion. The two parties were looking at Mesoblasts’ remestemcel-L as a treatment for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) due to COVID-19. Novartis bailed after some disappointing trial results.

Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P)

The Zip share price was a very poor performer and sank 15.6% lower during the five days. This was driven by weakness in the tech sector and concerns over news that US authorities have launched an investigation into the BNPL sector. The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is looking to see if BNPL players need to be better regulated and if US consumers are adequately protected.

Pointsbet Holdings Ltd (ASX: PBH)

The PointsBet share price was out of form and dropped 14.2% last week. This appears to have been caused by weakness in the tech sector and particularly in the sports betting market. For example, for the five trading sessions ending Thursday night, US rival Draftkings saw its shares sink 15%. Positively for PointsBet, Draftkings had a strong night on Friday, which could bode well for its shares on Monday.

Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT)

The Afterpay share price wasn’t far behind with a 13.8% decline after the Square share price tumbled lower. As Afterpay is being acquired by Square in an all-scrip deal, its shares rise and fall with the Square share price. Last week the aforementioned news of an investigation into the US BNPL sector put pressure on Square’s shares.

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