ASX Trading Wrap: Tech shares soar, setting new records

ASX Trading Wrap: Tech shares soar, setting new records

The ASX bounced back above the key 6,000 threshold last week as investors cheered on a swathe of better-than-expected global economic data. The strong performance of the NASDAQ also buoyed the local tech sector, with several market darlings climbing to new highs. The ASX 200 gained 2.6% to end the week on 6,057.90 points, marking a three-week high for the leading benchmark.

 

Which shares excelled?

Afterpay (ASX: APT) was pivotal to the rise across the market last week, with the stock edging within touching distance of the ASX 20. Shares in the buy-now pay-later juggernaut surged 18.4%, pushing the popular stock to a new all-time high. With COVID bringing about an acceleration in the shift from cash transactions towards digital payments, investors are betting that the rapidly growing fintech will capitalise on the tailwinds at play. Meanwhile, Citi upgraded its price target for APT to $64.25.

Following hot on its heels, Nearmap (ASX: NEA) leapt 17.5% last week as the aerial imagery and mapping software provider found favour. One of the market’s most-shorted stocks, the strong performance from the NASDAQ and fellow ASX tech shares contributed to a positive week for Nearmap shares, which may have been compounded further by short holders closing out their positions amid the rally.

On the back of new contract wins in New South Wales, NEXTDC (ASX: NXT) advanced 14.6% to also reach a new all-time high. As part of its contract wins, the data centre operator is set to see contracted commitments at its NSW facilities expand by 4MW to over 36MW. Noting that demand for its services continues to accelerate, management have indicated that revenue from the contracts will commence in FY21.

The rebound in share price for Domain Holdings Australia (ASX: DHG) continued last week, as the online real estate business climbed 14.3%. Although the rise was not attributable to any specific news out of the company, the stock is now within touching distance of the level it entered 2020.

Some of the early results to come out of the FY20 earnings season also provided a catalyst to move shares higher. Collins Foods (ASX: CKF) and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (ASX: FPH) were two such companies, up 13.2% and 11.1% respectively. In the case of Collins Foods, the company reported that revenue climbed 8.9%, while underlying NPAT rose 5.1% to $47.3 million. Meanwhile, Fisher & Paykel unveiled an 18% year-on-year increase in revenue for FY20, with NPAT soaring 37% to $287.3 million. It was the second consecutive week that FPH shares featured among the best-performers.

Elsewhere, some of the other major movers included Evolution Mining (ASX: EVN), up 12.2%, A2 Milk (ASX: A2M), up 8.5%, Magellan Financial Group (ASX: MFG), up 7.6%, Cochlear (ASX: COH), up 7.6%, and Telstra (ASX: TLS), up 7.4%.

 

 

Which shares dragged on the market?

Adbri (ASX: ABC), formerly known as Adelaide Brighton, was the week’s worst-performing mid-to-large cap stock, diving 26.1%. The move came almost entirely in the wake of news on Friday that the company has lost its lime supply contract with Alcoa after almost 50 years. With the contract accounting for as much as $70 million of Adbri’s revenue, the construction materials supplier faces a large hole in its income statement from June 2021 onwards.

It was a disappointing week for shareholders in Reliance Worldwide Corporation (ASX: RWC), as the company’s shares fell by 6.2%. While no price-sensitive news has been released by the company, one of its major shareholders has been reducing their stake, disposing more than 40 million shares on the market.

Amid similar circumstances, WiseTech (ASX: WTC) shares ended the week 5.1% lower, albeit it was the company’s CEO who parted with around 2.4 million shares. While only a very small portion of the rest of his holding in the business, the news weighed on the company’s shares and gave some shareholders reason to lighten their exposure to the logistics software solutions provider.

 

 

This week’s trading outlook

Although US markets were shut on Friday due to Independence Day, ASX futures still drifted modestly lower, pointing to a subdued start for the local market when trading resumes on Monday. Attention is likely to centre on the rising trend in COVID case numbers in the US, which may threaten the economic recovery that has thus far surpassed most analysts’ expectations.

The RBA is expected to maintain interest rates on Tuesday, however, scrutiny will focus on the accompanying statement to see whether the central bank has revised its outlook for the local and international economy.

Shares in Metcash (ASX: MTS) and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare will trade ex-dividend in the week ahead, with the defensive qualities of both businesses helping them distribute proceeds to shareholders amid what is otherwise a drought in terms of dividends for investors.

In the week ahead, a host of stocks will enter trading with strong momentum having set records in the process. This includes ResMed (ASX: RMD), Xero (ASX: XRO), Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX: SAR) and Kogan (ASX: KGN), each of which notched up an all-time high. In addition, the likes of Domino’s Pizza (ASX: DMP), Mineral Resources (ASX: MIN) and Oz Minerals (ASX: OZL) recorded a 52-week high.

 

We’ll be back next week with another Weekly ASX Trading Wrap Up – until then, have a great week!

 

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