Which shares excelled?
Last week’s quarterly rebalance announcement for the ASX sparked gains across a number of stocks, with some of this week’s best-performing names among those set to be added to the ASX 300. This included the likes of battery metals trio Novonix (ASX: NVX), Vulcan Energy Resources (ASX: VUL), and Liontown Resources (ASX: LTR), and specialty metals and rare earths business Australian Strategic Materials (ASX: ASM), which have each benefitted amid soaring interest in the procurement of resources that will fuel the development of next-generation electric vehicles.
In a similar fashion, PPK Group (ASX: PPK) and Paladin Energy (ASX: PDN) also had bumper weeks after news broke they will be added to the ASX 300. This was also the case with Betmakers Technology (ASX: BET) and Dubber (ASX: DUB), while news of Tyro Payments’ (ASX: TYR) inclusion into the ASX 200 was a catalyst for the payments processor.
Certain investment managers were among the standouts this week, led by Australian Ethical Investment (ASX: AEF), which was up more than 12%. Although there was no price-sensitive news sparking the rush, AEF hit a new all-time high as we see a growing number of investors eye exposure to ESG investments.
Meanwhile, Washington H. Soul Pattinson (ASX: SOL) and Milton Corporation (ASX: MLT) both put on a stellar showing as the two companies approach their merger. During the week, WHSP released a trading update that effectively indicated a profit upgrade, with a number of its investments providing exposure to higher earnings contributions.
Elsewhere, Aussie Broadband (ASX: ABB) signed a ten-year strategic fibre swap partnership with Victorian Rail Track, significantly expanding the reach of its fibre network across the state. The company also announced a capital raise for up to $124 million that was well-received by the market, with funds pegged to support growth by M&A, new business product and technology development, as well as the opportunity for further fibre and network build.
Making up the rest of this week’s top stocks are Technology One (ASX: TNE), Alumina (ASX: AWC), and Whitehaven Coal (ASX: WHC).
Which shares dragged on the market?
Trading ex-dividend earlier in the week, Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) was among the biggest drags on the entire market. The stock shed over 12%, most of which is tied to the company’s bumper dividend of $2.11 per share. News that China is accelerating steel production curbs has also weighed on iron ore prices, with the commodity hitting its lowest price in seven months, now trading at slightly more than US$130 per tonne.
The share price of Omni Bridgeway (ASX: OBL) came tumbling down over recent days in light of a legal case the litigation funder is involved with. The Court of Appeal has determined that the remaining defendant in a case relating to its Brisbane flood class action was not liable to the group members, effectively quashing its hopes of securing a win for its clients. Although the company will review the prospects of an appeal, the result, which overturned an earlier verdict from the Supreme Court of NSW, is no doubt a blow.
Shares in Hansen Technologies (ASX: HSN) were on the back foot as the takeover bid hanging over the company was formally withdrawn. BGH Capital announced that it would no longer proceed with its non-binding unsolicited proposal, which previously valued HSN at $6.50 per share. The unexpected move pushed shares down more than 11%, serving as a reminder that not every takeover offer goes ahead.
Gold stocks also came unstuck this week as the precious metal declined by nearly 2%. Some of those feeling the heat included Regis Resources (ASX: RRL), De Grey Mining (ASX: DEG) and St Barbara (ASX: SBM), although losses extended to a much wider list of names from the gold sector.
Despite some other lithium names faring well this week, shareholders in AVZ Minerals (ASX: AVZ) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX: PLS) were left somewhat deflated as they were left behind. A shift in sentiment across the market proved one headwind, but in the case of PLS, its share price was dented by news that Mineral Resources (ASX: MIN) had decided to sell its substantial holding in the company.
Also struggling for traction this week were names such as Iress (ASX: IRE), Polynovo (ASX: PNV), Magellan Financial Group (ASX: MFG), and EML Payments (ASX: EML), which recorded heavy losses.
We’ll be back next week with another Weekly ASX Trading Wrap Up – until then, have a great week!
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