ASX 200 weekly wrap: Telstra, Afterpay, BHP, Wesfarmers on the move

The local share market closed higher last week, thanks mainly to gains across the health care, financials and retail-related consumer discretionary sectors.
Telstra ASX200
Source: TK Kurikawa (Shutterstock)

In the final week of the February reporting season, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 finished 0.42% higher at 6,193 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index rose 0.53% to 6,274 points.

AMP Capital Chief Economist Shane Oliver said shares were up dramatically by 13% from their December lows at a time when global growth was softening.

Helping to push the share market higher were the health care sector’s 3.71% gain, the financials 1.4% lift and the consumer discretionary sector’s 1.21% rise.

Reflecting strength in the health sector was biotechnology giant CSL which topped market value gains with an increase of more than $4.1 billion.

Infection control specialist Nanosonics had the third highest share price increase, up 14.9%, following the announcement its first-half sales soared 36% on the year prior to $40.7 million.

Three of the four major banks and insurer QBE were among the top performing financial stocks last week with their market values growing between $827 million and $1.4 billion.

ASX 200 Listed Companies – Top 5 Biggest Market Cap Gains and Losses  (22/02/2019 to 01/03/2019)
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 CSL (CSL) $4,149,394,922 $195.66 4.9% 1 Wesfarmers (WES) -$2,018,235,631 $33.39 -5.1%
2 QBE Insurance Group (QBE) $1,434,972,556 $12.56 9.4% 2 BHP Group (BHP) -$1,502,384,211 $37.18 -1.4%
3 National Australia Bank (NAB) $1,249,852,760 $25.14 1.8% 3 Telstra Corporation (TLS) -$1,308,262,764 $3.13 -3.4%
4 Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) $885,119,753 $74.35 0.7% 4 Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) -$1,046,848,072 $5.98 -5.4%
5 Westpac Banking Corp (WBC) $827,417,045 $27.01 0.9% 5 Newcrest Mining (NCM) -$829,712,913 $24.33 -4.3%
Prepared by Canstar. Prices taken as of week to week close.

Meanwhile, weakness was felt across the telecommunications and mining-related sectors, which fell 1.48% and 1.12%, respectively.

BHP, Fortescue Metals Group and Newcrest Mining recorded some of the biggest losses to market value last week off the back of softer commodity prices, while Mineral Resources saw its share price slump 10.8%.

Fortescue went ex-dividend last week, contributing to its losses.

Weighing on the telecommunications sector was telco giant Telstra with its share price falling 3.4% and its market value shedding more than $1.3 billion last week.

This happened in the wake of its rival Optus announcing a multimillion-dollar deal with Coles and the NBN on Friday that will see Optus replace Telstra as Coles’ internet provider.

Canstar Group Executive of Financial Services Steve Mickenbecker said bad news continues to drag on Telstra’s share price.

“After reporting an 8% reduction in half year profit and a 29% dividend reduction in mid-February, it has now lost the Coles contract,” Mr Mickenbecker said.

As part of the deal, Optus will become part of Coles’ flybuys loyalty scheme and sell a range of Optus mobile and internet products to Coles customers at the supermarket.

ASX 200 Listed Companies – Top 5 Biggest Share Price Gains and Losses (22/02/2019 to 01/03/2019)
Biggest Gains
Rank Company Closing Share Price % Change
1 Appen (APX) $23.50 24.9%
2 Bingo Industries (BIN) $1.63 24.5%
3 Nanosonics (NAN) $4.17 14.9%
4 Afterpay Touch Group (APT) $19.57 13.8%
5 Orocobre (ORE) $3.80 10.8%
Prepared by Canstar. Prices taken as of week to week close.

Bunnings, Kmart and Officeworks owner Wesfarmers traded ex-dividend last week, which wiped more than $2 billion from its market value.

Tech stocks performed strongly last week, with shares in search and language data set company Appen rocketing 24.9% and ‘buy now, pay later’ company Afterpay Touch up 13.8%.

Appen announced at its revenue for the half-year more than doubled to $364 million, beating analyst expectations of a $352 million result.

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