In a week where the headlines were dominated by a disappointing result from the nation’s largest bank, the local market failed to gain traction. The ASX 200 shed 0.6% for the week and ended on 7,396.50 points, despite the best efforts of the tech sector to salvage a positive result.
Which shares excelled?
Crown Resorts (ASX: CWN) was one of this week’s biggest movers, with the casino and hotel operator soaring on news of a revised takeover bid from Blackstone. The US hedge fund giant will now offer shareholders $12.50 in cash per share by way of a scheme of arrangement, notably higher than the two previous bids made by the firm. On the back of the offer, shares in CWN leapt more than 18% this week.
There was strength for the telco sector this week, and one particular catalyst may have come in the form of a policy announcement from Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, ahead of the next election. Under the plan, should the ALP win the election, it will commit an extra $2.4 billion into the nbn rather than privatise the network. The announcement spurred shares in Aussie Broadband (ASX: ABB), which shone above its sector peers.
Elsewhere, a number of tech stocks had an upbeat week, including Appen (ASX: APX), NextDC (ASX: NXT) and WiseTech (ASX: WTC). None of these companies were in the news throughout the week, but the tech sector has featured as one of the outperformers over recent trading sessions, buoying confidence among these well-known names. Closing the week, two of the companies held their annual general meetings, as did another star performer in Altium (ASX: ALU), which gained traction as it confirmed it was on track to meet its guidance for FY22.
A strong appetite for lithium and battery metals stocks sees AVZ Minerals (ASX: AVZ), Novonix (ASX: NVX) and Liontown Resources (ASX: LTR) also make the cut as this week’s best-performing names. In the case of Liontown Resources, it bounced back strongly after last week’s sell-off on cost concerns. News it has received several financing proposals, and also signed a landmark Native Title Agreement for its Kathleen Valley Lithium Project bolstered buying support.
Rounding things out were Nickel Mines (ASX: NIC), which advised the first Nickel Pig Iron production from its Angel Nickel Project is now expected ahead of scheduled in the first quarter of 2022, and gold producer Evolution Mining (ASX: EVN), which overturned a shaky start to the week thanks to news it will acquire the Ernest Henry copper mine from Glencore as part of a $1 billion deal.
Which shares dragged on the market?
Shares in Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA) came tumbling down this week, with the sell-off having a large sway over the rest of the financial sector, and in turn the broader market. After publishing its quarterly report on Wednesday, the nation’s largest bank dived as much as 8% across the course of the trading session as management pointed to shrinking net interest margins, a key lever of profitability for the banks.
With COP26 coming to an end last week, all eyes were focused on the final climate agreement statement. At the heart of the agreement, world leaders have agreed to ‘phase down’ unabated coal, which refers to coal that isn’t mitigated with technologies to reduce CO2 emissions. On the back of the news, ASX-listed coal miners saw share price weakness, led by Coronado Global Resources (ASX: CRN), and to a lesser extent Whitehaven Coal (ASX: WHC) and New Hope Corporation (ASX: NHC).
Elsewhere, profit taking dampened interest in a number of popular stocks that have been flying of late. This included AI technology firm Brainchip (ASX: BRN), which last week soared on the completion of production version testing for its Akida chip, as well as lithium trio Sayona Mining (ASX: SYA), Lake Resources (ASX: LKE) and Core Lithium (ASX: CXO).
It’s a similar story for betting markets duo Pointsbet (ASX: PBH) and Betmakers (ASX: BET), which are well off their highs from earlier this year amid cooling sentiment towards this segment of the market, and uranium pair Energy Resources of Australia (ASX: ERA) and Paladin Energy (ASX: PDN), which appear to be in somewhat of a consolidation phase after the uranium sector received a major re-rate in September.
Momentum continues to trend against digital payments firm Tyro Payments (ASX: TYR), with the stock now down more than 20% across the last month. This week’s presentation at the Macquarie Emerging Leaders Conference did little to arrest a falling share price, even as the company’s weekly trading update pointed to significant growth in the value of transactions processed compared with this time last year.
Elsewhere, this week’s list of struggling names included Iluka Resources (ASX: ILU), Webjet (ASX: WEB) and Nearmap (ASX: NEA).
We’ll be back next week with another Weekly ASX Trading Wrap Up – until then, have a great week!
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