Local shares stormed higher this week, buoyed by the Federal Budget, as well as an upbeat performance from the US stock market. The ASX 200 managed to string together five straight positive trading sessions, leading to a gain of 5.4% for the week. At the close of trade, the benchmark index finished on 6,102.2 points, 310.7 points higher than this time last Friday.
Which shares excelled?
There was a long list of stocks that performed well this week, with investors indiscriminately buying across a range of sectors in the wake of a budget that was largely seen as ‘business friendly’.
In fact, given the breadth of the market rally, there were very few mid-to-large cap stocks that had a poor week, with only a small selection such as AngloGold Ashanti (ASX: AGG), Transurban (ASX: TCL) and Nanosonics (ASX: NAN) declining gently across the week.
Cimic Group (ASX: CIM) was one of the biggest names to stand out this week, surging 20.4%. The move came as the company reported $474 million in net profit after tax for the first nine months of the calendar year. Although revenue was down across that timeframe, the results showed some momentum picking up in the most-recent quarter, with revenue up 8% quarter-on-quarter.
Buy-now pay-later stocks were on the rise once again, with Zip Co (ASX: Z1P), Afterpay (ASX: APT) and Sezzle (ASZ: SZL) all having a strong week. Sezzle’s record third-quarter results helped build on the undertones supporting the sector, with the company seeing year-on-year triple-digit growth in underlying merchant sales, active consumers and active merchants.
The prospect of tax breaks for Australian workers also helped support sentiment for the above digital payments stocks, as well as discretionary retailers. In addition to efforts to encourage business expenditure through asset write-offs and expensing provisions, which were welcomed by the Australian Automotive Dealers Association, Eagers Automotive (ASX: APE) had a bumper week. Shares in the car retail group climbed by 17.5%.
A proposed tie-up between Northern Star Resources (ASX: NST) and Saracen Minerals (ASX: SAR) helped ignite the share price of both stocks. If NST is successful in acquiring its peer, the company envisages creating a top 10 global gold company, merging production capacity and consolidating costs. Meanwhile, a rebound in the price of oil was enough to help the likes of Oil Search (ASX: OSH) and Beach Energy (ASX: BPT), among others in the energy sector.
Rounding things out, there were also strong gains for the likes of Virgin Money UK (ASX: VUK), Seven Group Holdings (ASX: SVW), Netwealth (ASX: NWL), Hub24 (ASX: HUB) and Janus Henderson Group (ASX: JHG).
We’ll be back next week with another Weekly ASX Trading Wrap Up – until then, have a great weekend!
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