ASX 200 market wrap: records smashed, CSL, CommBank, BHP stocks gain

20 January 2020
Unprecedented highs were reached on the Australian stock exchange last week, with the overall market surpassing 7,000 points for the first time ever.
ASX 200_type of investment options
Source: Pavel Ignatov (Shutterstock)

In the best start to a trading year for more than 25 years, almost all sectors were up last week.

Healthcare company CSL reached a new peak for an individual stock price, at more than $300 per share.

Medical innovator Polynovo jumped more than 20%, although agribusiness Nufarm values sank almost 10%.

After last week’s blockbuster movements, local markets opened higher this morning after another record-setting week on the US Dow Jones index. The US markets will be closed for a public holiday today and there is no major economic news expected. Australian data set for public release this week includes consumer sentiment, December jobs figures and the International Monetary Fund’s economic forecast.

More record highs?

Last week, the top 200 companies of the S&P/ASX200 notched up four record highs in four consecutive days last week to end the week at 7,069 points. This was up 2.02% on the previous record week. Both the ASX200 and the broader All Ordinaries index finished above 7,000 points on Friday.

Sector Movements (10/01/2020 to 17/01/2020)
  Closing Points % Change
Consumer Discretionary (XDJ) 2,863 1.69%
Consumer Staples (XSJ) 13,072 2.88%
Energy (XEJ) 12,034 -0.51%
Financials (XFJ) 6,232 1.82%
Health Care (XHJ) 44,022 1.19%
Industrials (XNJ) 7,321 2.04%
Information Technology (XIJ) 1,533 3.82%
Materials (XMJ) 14,508 2.70%
Telecommunication Service (XTJ) 1,379 1.73%
Utilities (XUJ) 8,348 1.05%
Prepared by Canstar. Points taken as of Monday open to Friday close.

Global markets were strongly positive, spurred on by news of an agreement between the US and China that sparked renewed hopes of an end to the long-running trade war between the world’s two largest economies. Last Thursday’s Phase One trade deal truce included commitments to increase some exports and imports and to reduce some tariffs.

All sectors except energy shared in the gains last week. The mining sector was one of the stand-outs, however, recording its highest level in nine years. Big miners BHP Group (BHP) and Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) pushed up the market with gains of 1.8% and 6.4% respectively. The Commonwealth Bank (CBA) and National Australia Bank (NAB) also assisted to push financials up 1.82%.

One of the big news items of the week was the record high for vaccine manufacturer CSL (CSL), which hit a price of $300.10. It is the second-biggest company on the exchange by overall value, after CBA.

ASX 200 – Top 5 Market Capitalisation Gains (10/01/2020 to 17/01/2020)
Rank Company $ Change in Market Cap Closing Share Price % Change in Share Price
1 Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) $2,726,168,841 $84.01 1.9%
2 BHP Group Ltd (BHP) $2,150,471,517 $40.61 1.8%
3 Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (FMG) $2,124,485,794 $11.41 6.4%
4 National Australia Bank (NAB) $1,709,468,239 $25.49 2.3%
5 Woolworths Group Ltd (WOW) $1,488,235,060 $39.10 3.1%
Prepared by Canstar. Prices taken as of week-to-week close.

Polynovo, Elders and Pro Medicus among the winners

The medical manufacturer Polynovo Ltd (PNV) achieved the strongest gains in the record week last week, with a 22.5% improvement in price to $2.45, continuing its strong start to 2020. The company made no specific announcements, except to release its annual general meeting audio after a request from a funds manager.

The company develops and makes skin-replacement products and recently supplied its NovoSorb product to hospitals in Australia and New Zealand, to treat survivors of the White Island tragedy. A fortnight ago, it announced it had achieved its first $2m revenue month in December 2019.

Regional and rural business Elders Ltd (ELD) gained more than 13% to $7.10 following a positive note from brokers, as did machine learning company Appen Ltd (APX).

Lithium stocks continued to experience volatility, although small-cap stock Pilbara Minerals Limited (PLS) performed strongly, gaining 11.1%.

ASX 200 – Top 5 Share Price Gains (10/01/2020 to 17/01/2020)
Rank Company Closing Share Price % Change
1 Polynovo Ltd (PNV) $2.45 22.5%
2 Elders Ltd (ELD) $7.10 13.5%
3 Pro Medicus Ltd (PME) $26.52 12.6%
4 Appen Ltd (APX) $26.07 12.5%
5 Pilbara Minerals Ltd (PLS) $0.38 11.1%
Prepared by Canstar. Prices taken as of week-to-week close.

Nufarm and Virgin Money UK fall

The biggest fall on the market was agricultural chemicals company Nufarm Limited (NUF). It issued an update on its first half guidance that advised its earnings would be lower than previously forecast. Investors didn’t like the news and sent the price 9.6% lower.

ASX 200 – Top 5 Market Capitalisation Losses (10/01/2020 to 17/01/2020)
Rank Company $ Change in Market Cap Closing Share Price % Change in Share Price
1 Woodside Petroleum Ltd (WPL) -$372,203,326 $35.52 -1.1%
2 Nufarm Ltd (NUF) -$220,190,813 $5.49 -9.6%
3 Virgin Money UK (VUK) -$202,517,069 $3.29 -6.4%
4 Caltex Australia Ltd (CTX) -$178,540,467 $34.98 -2.0%
5 Pendal Group Ltd (PDL) -$142,033,052 $8.59 -4.9%
Prepared by Canstar. Prices taken as of week-to-week close.

Virgin Money UK (VUK) also fell last week (6.4% to $3.29), continuing its volatile ride over the last year amid continued economic and political turmoil in Britain. It did not release any fresh announcements.

Investors weren’t impressed with investment management business Pendal Group Limited (PDL)’s revelation its funds under management over the last quarter had increased by 1% overall, and were flat in Australia.

The Super Retail Group (SUL), which owns camping and fishing shop BCF and outdoor retailer Macpac, shed 2.7% after a broker note downgraded the shares, citing the national bushfire disasters. It said people may be donating money instead of shopping.

ASX 200 – Top 5 Share Price Losses (10/01/2020 to 17/01/2020)
Rank Company Closing Share Price % Change
1 Nufarm Ltd (NUF) $5.49 -9.6%
2 Virgin Money UK (VUK) $3.29 -6.4%
3 Pendal Group Ltd (PDL) $8.59 -4.9%
4 Super Retail Group Ltd (SUL) $9.76 -3.1%
5 Western Areas Ltd (WSA) $2.86 -2.7%
Prepared by Canstar. Prices taken as of week to week close.

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About Rosanne Barrett:

Photograph of Rosanne BarrettRosanne Barrett has had more than 15 years’ experience in daily news media across Australia and Hong Kong, including eight years as a staff reporter at The Australian. Ms Barrett produces journalism, content and copywriting across a range of industries.


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