ASX 200 weekly wrap: BHP, Rio Tinto, CSL & Aristocrat Leisure higher

Rallies from the big miners and health care stocks helped lift the Australian share market last week.
asx wrap gambling machine
Gaming machine manufacturer, Aristocrat Leisure, was among the best performers on the market last week. Source: welcomia (Shutterstock)

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.33% to 6,195 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 0.25% to close at 6,281 points.

Key domestic data released last week was Australia’s official unemployment rate, which dropped to an eight-year low of 4.9% in February.

AMP Capital Chief Economist Shane Oliver said this was largely due to fewer people looking for a job, and as a result the job figures “added nothing” to the debate about whether the RBA would cut rates or not.

“Employment slowed but this was after a huge surge in January, so (this) could just be noise,” he added.

The major miners were among the strongest performers last week, with BHP adding more than $3.3 billion in market value and Rio Tinto gaining $935 million in value.

Aristocrat Leisure also led gains, with the gambling machine manufacturer adding more than $1 billion to its market capitalisation, following a positive broker note from Deutsche Bank.

The note said Aristocrat continued to win market share in a stable US gaming market, and that its shares were trading significantly lower than the target price, in a sign that it could be a bargain for investors.

Meanwhile, the health care stocks performed well, with aged care operator Estia Health’s shares jumping by nearly 18% to $2.85, and shares in diagnostic imaging provider Healius rising about 6% to $2.79.

Commonwealth Bank was among the biggest losers on the share market last week, with the country’s biggest bank shedding more than $1.5 billion in value.

Sydney Airport also took a hit, with a loss of almost $632 million to its market value after the company reported a 1.5% fall in total passenger numbers for February, compared to a year ago.

The airport’s CEO Geoff Culbert said reduced domestic seat capacity and lower load factors were behind the fall.

“In addition, cancellation rates for the month continue to be higher than usual,” Mr Culbert said.

ASX 200 Listed Companies – Top 5 Biggest Market Cap Gains and Losses  (15/03/2019 to 22/03/2019)
Biggest Gains Biggest Losses
Rank Company $ Change in Market Cap Closing Share Price % Change in Share Price Rank Company $ Change in Market Cap Closing Share Price % Change in Share Price
1 BHP Group (BHP) $3,328,812,075 $37.61 3.1% 1 Commonwealth Bank (CBA) -$1,557,810,766 $71.43 -1.2%
2 Aristocrat Leisure (ALL) $1,040,826,964 $24.82 7.0% 2 New Hope Corporation (NHC) -$964,269,261 $3.25 -26.3%
3 RIO Tinto (RIO) $935,464,859 $94.17 2.7% 3 St Barbara (SBM) -$634,391,625 $3.29 -26.9%
4 CSL (CSL) $570,899,413 $197.19 0.6% 4 Sydney Airport Holdings (SYD) -$631,982,228 $7.15 -3.8%
5 Transurban Group (TCL) $561,812,653 $12.86 1.7% 5 REA Group (REA) -$496,564,416 $75.71 -4.7%
Prepared by Canstar. Prices taken as of week to week close.

Gold miner St Barbara downgraded its production guidance last week, leading to a sharp fall in its share price that wiped $634 million from its market value.

Vehicle fleet management company Eclipx Group’s  shares tumbled by a massive 60.5%, after it announced that its trading conditions have continued to deteriorate since its last update in January.

On top of this, the company has advised that a merger with administrative services provider McMillan Shakespeare is unlikely to proceed.

ASX 200 Listed Companies – Top 5 Biggest Share Price Gains and Losses (15/03/2019 to 22/03/2019)
Biggest Gains Biggest Losses
Rank Company Closing Share Price % Change Rank Company Closing Share Price % Change
1 Estia Health (EHE) $2.85 17.3% 1 Eclipx Group (ECX) $0.75 -60.5%
2 Nanosonics (NAN) $4.56 9.4% 2 St Barbara (SBM) $3.29 -26.9%
3 Aristocrat Leisure (ALL) $24.82 7.0% 3 New Hope Corporation (NHC) $3.25 -26.3%
4 Corp Travel (CTD) $25.13 6.5% 4 Nufarm (NUF) $4.63 -13.6%
5 Healius (HLS) $2.79 6.1% 5 Platinum Asset (PTM) $4.86 -12.0%
Prepared by Canstar. Prices taken as of week to week close.

Share this article