Weekly ASX Share Trading Wrap Up

Weekly ASX Share Trading Wrap Up

Shares edged lower last week as the ASX traced the US stock market down on concerns around the growing Coronavirus pandemic. With new daily cases rapidly increasing to record highs in a host of US states, market jitters have emerged in response to the prospect of full-scale lockdowns returning. The ASX 200 drifted 0.6% throughout the week to finish on 5,904.10 points.


Which shares excelled?

As the local market grew skittish on the back of volatility returning to US stocks, investors repositioned their portfolios towards gold shares last week. The price of the precious metal rose about 1.5% last week, which proved to be enough of a catalyst for the likes of AngloGold Ashanti (ASX: AGG), Saracen Mineral Holding (ASX: SAR), Ramelius Resources (ASX: RMS), Perseus Mining (ASX: PRU) and Silver Lake Resources (ASX: SLR).

Investors also sought exposure to ‘defensive’ health stocks that weathered the storm when COVID-19 first led to markets plunging in March. As such, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (ASX: FPH) and ResMed (ASX: RMD) were two of the best-performing shares last week, up 10.2% and 7.4% respectively.

Following approval from TPG shareholders, as well as a green light from the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Hutchison Telecommunications (ASX: HTA) had a bumper week. Shares in the business lifted 12.9% ahead of the company’s highly-anticipated merger with TPG Telecom (ASX: TPM).

Market darling Pushpay Holdings (ASX: PPH) continues to charter new territory, jumping to yet another all-time high last week. The donor management technology provider, which offers finance tools to religious and non-profit organisations, climbed 12.4% to reach $8.62.

There were also encouraging signs for some of the market’s out-of-favour stocks from recent times, including AMP (ASX: AMP), up 6%, Perpetual (ASX: PPT), up 5.5%, and Cromwell Property (ASX: CMW), up 5% on a partial takeover bid from ARA Asset Management that it dubbed “opportunistic”. Meanwhile, JB Hi-Fi (ASX: JBH) gained 5.7%, while Sonic Healthcare (ASX: SHL) and Healius (ASX: HLS) underscored the shift towards health stocks, with the duo increasing 4.9% and 3.6% respectively.



Which shares dragged on the market?

Travel stocks were once again under heavy selling pressure as the government all but ruled out overseas travel for the foreseeable future, and as COVID cases continue to grow right throughout the world. This weighed heavily on the likes of Webjet (ASX: WEB), Flight Centre (ASX: FLT), Air New Zealand (ASX: AIZ), Sydney Airport (ASX: SYD) and Qantas (ASX: QAN), with the latter raising up to $1.9 billion in fresh capital and also cutting as many as 6,000 jobs.

After a highly successful couple months, digital payment shares were also among the worst-performers last week, further underpinning the shift in risk appetite throughout the week. EML Payments (ASX: EML) lost 13.1%, Tyro Payments (ASX: TYR) shed 12.5% and Zip Co (ASX: Z1P) dived 11.5%. In the case of Zip Co, three of its directors recently sold shares in the company for “tax obligations” and “debt commitments”.

Elsewhere, concerns around a second ‘wave’ of COVID cases weighed on companies that have been leveraged to the reopening economy, including AP Eagers (ASX: APE), IDP Education (ASX: IEL), Skycity Entertainment Group (ASX: SKC), Star Entertainment Group (ASX: SGR) and Crown Resorts (ASX: CWN).

Finally, Mesoblast (ASX: MSB) had a week to forget upon its debut as an ASX 200 company, diving 19.8% despite no price-sensitive news from the business.



This week’s trading outlook

Heavy losses look in store when the ASX resumes trading on Monday morning, as investors continue to grapple with the reality that COVID-19 has not yet been brought under control in some of the world’s largest economies. US shares tanked on Friday night, despite personal spending levels rebounding strongly with the economy reopening in May.

Among the most anticipated news items in the week ahead, Australia’s balance of trade is expected to remain at near-record levels, while analysts also expect May exports and imports to bounce back following weakness in April. Export data could shed some light on the momentum of iron ore stocks such as Fortescue Metals (ASX: FMG) and BHP (ASX: BHP), which due to their size, have been among the biggest contributors to the resilience of the ASX in recent weeks.

Retail sales later in the week are forecast to show a record leap in terms of month-on-month growth, however, that follows a record plunge (April: -17.7%) and record jump (March: +8.5%) in the two months prior. The data may lead to some interest in stocks like Premier Investments (ASX: PMV) and Kogan (ASX: KGN).

In the US, manufacturing activity and unemployment data are set to be crucial watch-points for investors, with market forecasts suggesting 3 million jobs were added to the US economy in June. Anything less than that may well disappoint observers. China, meanwhile, will publish manufacturing and services activity for June.

Fisher & Paykel could be in the spotlight for the second week running as it reports its full-year results on Monday morning. As the quarter rounds out to a close, that also means a lengthy list of ETFs, LICs and REITs will trade ex-dividend in the week ahead. A few names include APA Group (ASX: APA), Charter Hall (ASX: CHC) and Selfwealth SMSF Leaders ETF (ASX: SELF).


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


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