Weekly ASX Share Trading Wrap Up

Weekly ASX Share Trading Wrap Up

The ASX recorded its fifth consecutive week of gains last week, led higher by a stunning rally in bank stocks. It also marked the second month in a row where the local market posted a strong increase, with the ASX 200 up 4.2% throughout May. By the end of the trading week, the ASX 200 settled on 5,755.70 points, a weekly rise of 4.7%.


Which shares excelled?

The Big Four were instrumental in driving the market higher last week. Funds rotated into the financials sector on the back of strong performances from their peers in the US market. Over there, the CEO of JP Morgan sounded a more upbeat tune for the economy, while RBA Governor Philip Lowe also indicated the local economy was faring slightly better than expected. In the end, ANZ (ASX: ANZ) was up 17.5%, NAB (ASX: NAB) surged 16.1%, Westpac (ASX: WBC) jumped 14.7%, and Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA) advanced 8.6%.

Elsewhere, building and construction stocks gained favour as investors bet on stimulus support for the industry. As a result, there were numerous stocks that outperformed from this sector. This included the likes of Boral (ASX: BLD), Lendlease Group (ASX: LLC), Brickworks (ASX: BKW), Fletcher Building (ASX: FBU), CSR (ASX: CSR) and James Hardie (ASX: JHX). Each of these stocks gained over 10%, with Boral climbing as much as 21%.

Shopping centre operators were also in line for a reprieve as the global economy finds its feet. Shares in Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX: URW) rebounded from their all-time low, rising 18.6%. Similarly, Stockland (ASX: SGP) had a stellar run, up 16.3%.

Another industry supported by a gradual loosening of lockdown measures was the travel sector. Money has been flowing into this sector in recent weeks amid optimism that travel may be able to recommence in the coming months. Some of the beneficiaries of this have been Flight Centre (ASX: FLT), Webjet (ASX: WEB), Auckland International Airport (ASX: AIA), Qantas (ASX: QAN) and Air New Zealand (ASX: AIZ), which all had a standout week.

Among the best of the rest, Austal (ASX: ASB) jumped 20.1% as the shipbuilder upgraded its FY20 guidance to $2bn in revenue and $125m in EBIT. It was joined by Nearmap (ASX: NEA), which soared 18% following an update from the company that detailed a reduction in customer churn, as well as forecast annualised contract value (ACV) between $103m and $107m.



Which shares dragged on the market?

Gold stocks were among the worst-performing shares last week, despite paring their losses on Friday. Nonetheless, as risk-off sentiment returned to the market, shares from this segment were largely overlooked. AngloGold Ashanti (ASX: AGG) fared the worst, down 8.3%, while Kirkland Lake Gold (ASX: KLA), Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX: SAR), Oceanagold Corporation (ASX: OGC) and Newcrest Mining (ASX: NCM) all tumbled.

Shares in TechnologyOne (ASX: TNE) slipped last week, slumping 7.8%. An enterprise software provider, TNE has been in a downtrend since mid-May, with the sell-off gaining momentum following the company’s half-year results. Meanwhile, engineering services business Worley (ASX: WOR) dived 7.2% even though the company did not release any price-sensitive news.

Finally, for the second week running, CSL (ASX: CSL) was one of the biggest drags on the market. Last week the specialty biotechnology company fell 5.1%, despite announcing a strategic partnership and lease of its Swiss manufacturing facility to Thermo Fisher Scientific. Given the company’s share price still sits favourably against where it started the year, investors may have been selling out in favour of opportunities they perceive offer greater near-term upside.



This week’s trading outlook

ASX futures indicate a modest drop for the local market on Monday morning. The futures failed to track the extent of the US market’s intra-day recovery during Friday night’s offshore trading session. It remains to be seen what impact, if any, protests across the US might have on the market given that many of the rallies have escalated into riots.

A big week of economic news awaits investors, headlined locally by manufacturing activity, home sales data, the balance of trade, retail sales, the RBA rate decision and GDP growth data. In the US, factory orders, continuing jobless claims, non-farm payrolls and the unemployment rate will all be scrutinised closely. Meanwhile, China will detail manufacturing and services activity for May.

After their sell-off last week, gold stocks may be in sight again as the world awaits a response from China following news that the US is set to strip Hong Kong of its special status.

Once again, iron ore stocks may also find some interest following a strong move higher in the price of the commodity. Amid significant supply issues out of Brazil, the spot price of iron ore jumped more than 5% on Friday to around US$102 a tonne. The upside for local miners rests with their ability to export iron ore to China, at what has turned into widening margins.

Rounding things out, Kogan (ASX: KGN) and Pushpay Holdings (ASX: PPH) enter the new week full of momentum, having continued their record rallies and each claiming a new all-time high.


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


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