Weekly ASX Share Trading Wrap Up

Weekly ASX Share Trading Wrap Up

While shares were on track to post a strong rise for the week, a wave of selling sparked by fear and profit taking hit the market on Friday. This came after the release of poor global economic data and mixed earnings results from high-profile NASDAQ tech stocks. It meant that the ASX 200 barely held onto its gains for the week, ultimately inching higher by just 0.1% to finish on 5,245.90 points.

 

 

Which shares excelled?

Last week’s best-performing mid-to-large cap stock was Corporate Travel Management (ASX: CTD), which leapt 38.4%. Although the company did not release any news to the market, there was an increase in buying support for travel-related stocks, with this just one among several names to deliver strong gains. The prospect that Australia may be able to eliminate the Coronavirus and open up domestic travel, and potentially even resume travel with New Zealand, played a pivotal role in the rebound.

A strong business update from IOOF Holdings (ASX: IFL) pleased its shareholders, with the stock gaining 22.9% across the trading week. The company reported that its Funds under Management, Advice and Administration (FUMA) grew by 34.2% in the first quarter of 2020. Net outflows tracked at just 0.04% of the company’s opening FUMA, a result that found favour in the market.

In another trading update, Worley (ASX: WOR) announced new debt facilities of $465m have been added to the company’s reserves, bolstering its liquidity. In addition, Worley advised that the impact of the Coronavirus on its operations has been limited to date, with “utilization” tracking above target and chargeable hours down just 2% across March. In response, the stock rallied 20%.

Also buoying shareholder sentiment with news of an additional debt facility, Domain Holdings Australia (ASX: DHG) rocketed higher by 19.5%. The digital property portal has secured a new $80m debt facility with a term of 18 months. It has also been advised by its lenders that it has been granted a waiver over its financial covenants as at June and December 2020.

Strong momentum continued for Mesoblast (ASX: MSB), which is the best-performing stock across the last month for any company valued in excess of $1.2bn. Following the strong performance of the company’s dual-listed shares in America the week prior, the stock launched higher by 41% on Monday. The share price see-sawed thereafter, as it released its Appendix 4C, while also confirming that it has begun enrolment in its Phase 2/3 clinical study that will investigate whether its stem cell therapy can help manage acute respiratory distress syndrome arising from COVID-19. Shares in MSB finished the week 18.3% higher.

Other standout stocks last week were Nine Entertainment Co Holdings (ASX: NEC), up 19.1%, Skycity Entertainment Group (ASX: SKC), up 17.1%, Domino’s Pizza Enterprises (ASX: DMP), up 16.9%, James Hardie Industries (ASX: JHX), up 16.2%, and Janus Henderson Group (ASX: JHG), up 16.1%.

 

Which shares dragged on the market?

After their strong performances the week prior, gold stocks came crashing down amid Friday’s brutal market-wide sell-off. The price of the precious metal fell almost 4% during the local trading week, although it later managed to trim half these losses after the Australian market closed on Friday evening. Nonetheless, the week’s worst-performing stocks were led by Newcrest Mining (ASX: NCM), Gold Road Resources (ASX: GOR), Northern Star Resources (ASX: NST), AngloGold Resources (ASX: AGG) and Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX: SAR).

Each of these stocks shed around 10% or more of their market cap, while in the case of Newcrest Mining, the company undertook a $1.1bn capital raise in order to expedite growth at its key projects while gold prices remain near historical highs.

Elsewhere, despite its revenue growing 12.8% in the third quarter of the financial year, Coles (ASX: COL) lost ground last week as the result disappointed shareholders. Shares in the supermarket operator fell 6.2% as the impact of higher costs and ‘moderating’ growth weighed on investor sentiment now that much of the nation’s panic buying has subsided.

Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) shares dived 5.4% as commodity stocks were the target of sellers late in the week. While the price of iron ore has remained relatively steady in recent times, weak global economic data and escalating rhetoric between the US and China surrounding the Coronavirus could be dampening confidence in the major miners.

Blue-chip favourite CSL (ASX: CSL) also weighed heavily on the ASX last week, especially as its shares sunk sharply on Friday. Even though no news was released by the company, the weekly decline for the stock reached 4.8% as traders and investors banked profits.

Rounding out the week were declines in the shares of Insurance Australia Group (ASX: IAG) and Suncorp Group (ASX: SUN), both down 4.4%, TPG Telecom (ASX: TPM), down 4.2%, Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG), down 4.1%, plus Woolworths (ASX: WOW) and AGL Energy (ASX: AGL), each down 4%.

 

 

This week’s trading outlook

ASX futures are pointing to a drop when the local market resumes trading on Monday morning. Futures held up well for most of the weekend, despite a sharp fall in the US market on Friday evening, likely because Australian markets led that drop with an exacerbated sell-off driven by fear and profit taking. However, hostility surrounding the origins of the Coronavirus, with increasing blame being attributed by the US government towards China, saw futures plunge around 1% at 8am Monday morning local time.

The week ahead will be packed with local economic data, starting with building permits on Monday morning. One day later, eyes will be fixed on services and factory data, as well as the RBA rate decision. On Thursday we’ll see readings on imports, exports and the balance of trade. Closing out the week will be the RBA’s statement on monetary policy, which could play a role guiding sentiment towards the stock market and broader economy.

In the US, the list of data will be just as long. Investors will be keeping attuned to factory orders, the balance of trade, imports and exports, services and manufacturing activity, as well as non-farm payrolls, earnings and unemployment data. Some economists expect that the US unemployment rate will be as high as 20% when reported Friday evening Australian time.

Gold stocks are set to be in focus on Monday after the price of gold rallied Friday evening.

Meanwhile, Westpac (ASX: WBC) will report its interim results, with the bank having already flagged that it will set aside $2.2bn as an impairment provision.

Last but not least, TechnologyOne (ASX: TNE) enters the week trading at an all-time high, with the stock up around 40% from its recent low set in mid-March. Elders (ASX: ELD) also starts the week with momentum, with the agricultural goods and services business weathering the market turmoil to trade at a 52-week high.

 

 

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

 

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