Weekly ASX Share Trading Wrap Up

Weekly ASX Share Trading Wrap Up

After a string of weekly gains, the ASX hit a wall as its winning streak came to an end. The first half of the week was underscored by significant selling pressure due to turmoil in the oil market, with the price of oil futures diving into negative territory for the first time in history. Nonetheless, the market stabilised from the middle of the week, but it wasn’t enough to reverse a decline of 4.5%, leaving the ASX 200 to settle on 5,242.6 points.

 

Which shares excelled?

Gold shares were on a tear last week as the price of the precious metal rallied over 2.5% to a new eight-year high. This translated into strong gains for most of the mid-cap miners and producers, led by the likes of Perseus Mining (ASX: PRU), AngloGold Ashanti (ASX: AGG), OceanaGold (ASX: OGC), Regis Resources (ASX: RRL) and more. In fact, last week’s top 10 best-performing stocks valued in excess of $1.2 billion were all gold stocks.

One stock outside the gold sector that managed to find support was Platinum Asset Management (ASX: PTM), with the company’s shares gaining 3.7%. Although there was no news tied to the move, the fund management business is still significantly down from its recent highs, perhaps encouraging some contrarian investors to make an entry.

A business update from WiseTech Global (ASX: WTC) was enough to spark some buying interest in the company’s shares, with the stock climbing 3.3%. As part of its trading update, the logistics software solutions provider reaffirmed its FY20 guidance. The company noted that it has seen continued demand for its technology, resulting in new users being onboarded, revenue growing and operational cash flow.

Elsewhere, there were also positive performances from Hutchison Telecommunications (ASX: HTA), up 3.6%, Meridian Energy (ASX: MEZ), up 2.6%, Crown Resorts (ASX: CWN), up 2.3%, AusNet Services (ASX: AST), up 2.2%, and JB Hi-Fi (ASX: JBH), up 2%.

 

 

Which shares dragged on the market?

Last week’s worst-performing stocks came from a broad range of sectors, but it was Metcash (ASX: MTS), which hit a speed bump after announcing that it would undertake an equity raising. While the offer was quickly completed, with $300 million taken up by institutions, it didn’t take long for the stock to dive below its $2.80 per share placement price. Metcash shares ended the week lower by 17.1% to finish on $2.52.

Shares from the building and construction sector performed weakly, with the lingering effects of the economic shutdown weighing on sentiment regarding government investment and the status of certain future projects. Among those hardest-hit were Lend Lease Group (ASX: LLC), down 13.9%, Boral (ASX: BLD), down 12.2%, and Fletcher Building (ASX: FBU), down 9.1%.

In what has become a familiar sight since lockdown measures were first implemented, real estate stocks felt the pinch amid ongoing uncertainty around tenancy agreements, developments and the timeline for when consumers and businesses might see a return to ‘normality’. In the meantime, shares like Stockland (ASX: SGP), Mirvac Group (ASX: MGR), Charter Hall Group (ASX: CHC), Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX: URW), GPT Group (ASX: GPT), Dexus Property (ASX: DXS) and Cromwell Property (ASX: CMW) were all sold down heavily by shareholders.

Other companies to experience a rough week included Skycity Entertainment Group (ASX: SKC), diving 17.1%, Challenger (ASX: CGF), slumping 15.5%, Reliance Worldwide (ASX: RWC), sinking 13.9%, Breville Group (ASX: BRG), falling 12.2%, Sydney Airport (ASX: SYD), shedding 11.6%, and Blackmores (ASX: BKL), tumbling 11.1%.

Of these companies, only Challenger and Sydney Airport released news to the market, with the former reporting an 8% drop in total assets under management, and the latter indicating April passenger traffic has evaporated more than 96%.

 

 

This week’s trading outlook

Ahead of what shapes to be a pivotal week for global share markets, ASX futures suggest the local market will open strongly higher when trading resumes on Monday morning. However, it is the deluge of news set to be announced throughout the week that is of most prominence.

On the local front, the week ahead will see data relating to inflation, private sector credit, manufacturing activity, and new home sales. This data will flow through from the middle of the week. Similarly, China will release its own manufacturing activity data for April on Thursday, which will be eagerly anticipated for a sign as to whether growth has returned to that segment of the economy.

While all this news is expected to be price-sensitive for markets, it is all but certain to be overshadowed by economic news from the USA. This includes crucial first-quarter GDP data set to be released on Wednesday evening Sydney-time, followed in the days thereafter by data on income and spending as well as manufacturing activity.

At the same time, the Federal Reserve will also convene for its regular meeting, where it is likely to discuss its efforts in managing economic policy. Capping it all off will be market-moving reports from the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Boeing, McDonald’s and more. As these stocks account for a huge portion of the market, their results look set to dictate the next direction of the US stock market, and in turn, Australian shares.

As the month draws to an end, we are set to witness a late flurry of quarterly reports released by small-cap stocks, which means there is likely to be notable volatility at this end of the market.

Two large-cap stocks that will draw extra scrutiny this week include ANZ (ASX: ANZ) and Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG). Both companies will release news to the market on Thursday, with ANZ set to detail its interim results, while FMG will distribute its quarterly production report.

Rounding things out, on the back of the strong rise in gold prices, Silver Lake Resources (ASX: SLR) reached a 52-week high last week, contrasting the fortunes of GWA Group (ASX: GWA), which was trading at a 52-week low.

 

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

 

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