Weekly ASX Share Trading Wrap Up

Weekly ASX Share Trading Wrap Up


Although there were some jittery moments throughout the trading week, the ASX managed to edge higher amid mixed news. The Big Four banks and major tech stocks proved an early concern, before finding support late in the week.

Improved trading sentiment flowed through from US markets, with key job numbers delighting investors. The prospect of a breakthrough in US-China trade negotiations, including trade tariffs potentially being pared back, has also given the market impetus to continue its multi-year bull run.

By Friday’s close, the ASX 200 finished on 6,724.1 points, up 0.8% versus last week’s close. In similar fashion, the All Ordinaries also rose 0.8% to close on 6,833.2 points. The materials sector stood out as shares climbed 3%. Real estate stocks didn’t fare so well, falling 1.5%.


Which shares excelled?

After a difficult period of trading, Zip Co (ASX: Z1P) managed to soar back into the spotlight this week. The point-of-sale payment provider announced a deal with Amazon Australia that will see it integrate its technology into the e-commerce giant’s local site with immediate effect. Shares rose 16.9% on the news, albeit the weekly gains were more moderate at 3.2%.

Another tech favourite stood out, with Xero (XRO) surging 8.3% on the back of its first-half results. The cloud-based accounting software firm reported a 30% jump in subscribers, which translated into a 32% rise in operating revenue.

NRW Holdings (ASX: NWH) also put in a performance to remember, with its shares leaping 16.4% higher by Friday’s close. The catalyst was news that the company is the “preferred bidder” to acquire mining and construction firm BGC Contracting, with investors seemingly endorsing that prospect.

The major iron ore miners were all up over 4% as the sector benefitted from renewed trade optimism. Elsewhere, building material suppliers CSR (ASX: CSR) and James Hardie (ASX: JHX) traded strongly throughout the week buoyed by their half-year results.


Mining stocks sprung into action during the week

Which shares dragged on the market?

Although its shares managed to recover throughout the week, Westpac (ASX: WBC) weighed on the index after its full-year results fell short of expectations. The company reported a 15% fall in net profit, while also cutting its dividend and announcing plans to raise $2.5bn in fresh capital. Management were quick to point the finger at record-low interest rates and the subdued economy. After an initial sell-off when trading resumed, investors subsequently returned to the stock.

Medibank Private (ASX: MPL) shares tanked 8.5% on Wednesday following a $21m hit. The company announced it saw a higher-than-expected increase in member claims across FY19, leaving investors ducking for cover. Also sending a shock to investors, Flight Centre (ASX: FLT) put forward a downcast trading outlook, which meant shares fell 5.5%.

Finally, Nearmap (ASX: NEA) came under heavy selling pressure, down 5.8%, while last week’s winning gold stocks tumbled by as much as 10% with the mood surrounding the macroeconomic environment shifting to a positive outlook.


Other trading developments

On Tuesday the Reserve Bank left interest rates on hold at 0.75%, a move widely expected within financial market circles notwithstanding soft retail sales data. Observers took particular interest in the accompanying statement, particularly comments including: “the Board will continue to monitor developments”, and that global economic risks are “tilted to the downside”.

Although Westpac’s full-year results set the cat among the pigeons, NAB (ASX: NAB) escaped the wrath of the market. That came despite the bank posting a 13.6% reduction in full-year net profit, however, investors were spared from a dilutionary capital raise.

On Thursday medicinal cannabis company Cronos Australia (ASX: CAU) made its ASX debut after completing a $20m IPO. Shares dived 28%, with recent weakness in the sector proving an uphill task during its first two days of trading. Primewest (ASX: PWG) fared better, with the property fund manager’s $100m listing shooting higher by 18%.

The RBA held firm with rates, much to everyone’s expectations

The trading week ahead

Most of the major banks will go ex-dividend in the week ahead, which is expected to weigh on the ASX. This includes ANZ (ASX: ANZ), Macquarie Group (ASX: MQG), Westpac and NAB.

In terms of annual general meetings, numerous high profile companies are set to convene throughout the trading week. Wesfarmers (ASX: WES) will headline the list, but investors in Newcrest Mining (ASX: NCM), Computershare (ASX: CPU), Ramsay Health Care (ASX: RHC) and Nearmap will also be paying close attention.


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


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