The share market built on last week’s strong performance, at one stage charting a seven-month high. The ASX 200 closed on 6,176.8 points, up 1.2% across the week. Positive sentiment was driven by increased hopes of fiscal stimulus in the US, followed by dovish sentiment from RBA Governor Philip Lowe, who flagged the increasing likelihood of further policy easing.
Which shares excelled?
A strong trading update from Redbubble (ASX: RBL) was enough to see its share price soar, leaping 39% this week. The company handed down a record quarter of growth amid the surge in online shopping activity that has arisen out of COVID-19. Marketplace revenue more than doubled in the first quarter of FY21, totalling $147.5 million, while adjusted EBIT came in at $22.1 million.
Shares in global shopping centre operator Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX: URW) clawed back some of the recent drop, advancing 23.2%. The move came in light of the company’s decision to enter into an agreement to sell one of its office buildings. In a development that lifted sentiment, the mooted sale of the building was flagged at a disposal price higher than the book value listed in the company’s most-recent financial accounts.
A private equity takeover offer for Link Administration Holdings (ASX: LNK) was enough to send its shares racing higher. Carlyle Group and Pacific Equity Partners lobbed a $2.76 billion takeover offer at Link, Australia’s largest provider of superannuation fund administration services.
Elsewhere, Nickel Mines (ASX: NIC) was a winner, buoyed by news that it plans to spend nearly $700 million in acquiring a 70% stake in a nickel project located in Indonesia. In entering the joint project, the company stands to gain access to 36,000 tonnes in annual production capacity of nickel metal, as well as a 380-megawatt coal-fired power plant.
Kogan (ASX: KGN) continued its stellar run, setting a new all-time high this week. Although the company did not release any news this week, the stock has been supported by the e-commerce boom that has helped propel the share prices of various online retailers and digital payments companies sharply higher since the start of the pandemic. The stock is now up more than 550% since its March low.
There were also strong gains for the likes of EBOS Group (ASX: EBO), Tyro Payments (ASX: TYR), Bank of Queensland (ASX: BOQ), Pendal (ASX: PDL), Hub24 (ASX: HUB), Bendigo Bank (ASX: BEN) and Afterpay (ASX: APT).
Which shares dragged on the market?
Shareholders in New Hope Corporation (ASX: NHC) had a week to forget, with the stock crumbling 9.5%. The slide started with news surrounding reports that China was deferring coal shipments from Australia, putting pressure on the local industry. News of a corporate restructure involving a large number of redundancies also weighed on the stock.
Travel stocks such as Flight Centre (ASX: FLT) and Webjet (ASX: WEB) fell out of favour this week. Some of the optimism in recent weeks surrounding travel was dashed by the reality of the restrictive controls that remain in place at a state and federal level, as well as the exponential growth in COVID cases unfolding in Europe, where both companies have operational exposure.
Shares in Zip Co (ASX: Z1P) dived following the company’s latest quarterly report. Although the buy-now pay-later operator delivered a record for quarterly revenue and also managed to reduce its monthly arrears, the stock was hit by a wave of selling. With Quad Pay contributing to the company’s results, investors were given their first clear glimpse of the merged entity. Nonetheless, with the stock rising in the lead-up to the results, it appears many shareholders took the opportunity to sell into the news.
Popular heath care duo Avita Therapeutics (ASX: AVH) and Mesoblast (ASX: MSB) were caught on the back foot this week, down 6.1% and 7.7% respectively. They weren’t the only name from the broader health sector to struggle, however, with global hospital group Ramsay Health Care (ASX: RHC) also under pressure. Other names facing a difficult time this week included Cimic Group (ASX: CIM), Adbri (ASX: ABC) and Vicinity Centres (ASX: VCX).
We’ll be back next week with another Weekly ASX Trading Wrap Up – until then, have a great weekend!
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