ASX 200 weekly wrap: Woolworths, CSL & Telstra shares higher

The share market edged higher last week thanks partly to strength from major retail and health stocks, despite overseas markets falling on global growth concerns.
Woolworths
Source: TK Kurikawa (Shutterstock)

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.19% to 6,204 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 0.22% to finish last week at 6,287 points.

The market had three-session rises last week, including hitting a six-month high on Monday, but two days of falls did dent gains.

Canstar Group Executive of Financial Services Steve Mickenbecker said the Aussie share market showed resilience last week amid falls on Wall Street and as a number of local major stocks, including big miners BHP and Rio Tinto went ex-dividend.

“The market also shrugged off lower retail spending and domestic GDP figures and signs of lower Chinese growth, all widely anticipated,” Mr Mickenbecker said.

He said how long this resilience can continue in the face of several headwinds was yet to be seen.

“The governor of the RBA continues to express confidence that we are not heading into a recession, but the market must surely be looking for a peaceful resolution to trade wars that does not see us caught in a crossfire, before it can put fears of a global downturn behind it,” he said.

The retail-related consumer staples and health care sectors helped lift the market last week.

Supermarket giant Woolworths led market value gains with a rise of more than $1.8 billion in market capitalisation, while biotechnology heavyweight CSL gained almost $1.7 billion in value.

Among the biggest losers, were ANZ and Commonwealth Bank which each dropped more than $2 billion in market value. Meanwhile, National Australia Bank’s share price was helped by its announcement of a new chairman.

Weighing on the big banks last week was the House of Representatives Economics Committee’s grilling of CBA CEO Matt Comyn and Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer on Friday. The CEOs of the other two big banks are set to face the committee this week.

“The banks find themselves yet again before an inquiry, and the cost of remediation is slowly becoming clearer,” Mr Mickenbecker said.

ASX 200 Listed Companies – Top 5 Biggest Market Cap Gains and Losses  (01/03/2019 to 08/03/2019)
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 Woolworths (WOW) $1,870,732,083 $30.25 4.9% 1 ANZ (ANZ) -$2,898,244,586 $27.12 -3.2%
2 CSL (CSL) $1,698,715,170 $199.41 1.9% 2 Commonwealth Bank (CBA) -$2,071,180,223 $73.18 -1.6%
3 Fortescue Metals (FMG) $1,601,061,757 $6.50 8.7% 3 RIO Tinto (RIO) -$1,603,654,045 $90.60 -4.6%
4 Wesfarmers (WES) $1,247,224,267 $34.49 3.3% 4 BHP Group (BHP) -$883,755,418 $36.88 -0.8%
5 Telstra (TLS) $1,070,396,807 $3.22 2.9% 5 SOUTH32 (S32) -$675,398,184 $3.78 -3.3%
Prepared by Canstar. Prices taken as of week to week close.

Meanwhile, in individual share price news, the strongest performer on the market was baby food company Bellamy’s Australia, which gained 17%.

News that Bellamy’s could be close to being granted the accreditation it needs to sell its product in mainland China may have led to investors snapping up the infant formula maker’s shares.

Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals’s share price rose 9% off the back of a small rise in iron ore price and positive broker analysis.

Leading share price losses was industrial mineral and technology company Syrah Resources, which tumbled 13.4% to $1.16, following significant selling pressure since a lower-than-expected quarterly update.

Lithium chemical producer Orocobre’s share price fell 10% after the company warned of further weakness in lithium prices.

ASX 200 Listed Companies – Top 5 Biggest Share Price Gains and Losses (01/03/2019 to 08/03/2019)
Biggest Gains Biggest Losses
Rank Company Closing Share Price % Change Rank Company Closing Share Price % Change
1 Bellamy’s Australia (BAL) $10.35 17.2% 1 Syrah Resources (SYR) $1.16 -13.4%
2 Fortescue Metals (FMG) $6.50 8.7% 2 Orocobre (ORE) $3.42 -10.0%
3 JB Hi-Fi (JBH) $23.92 7.6% 3 Ardent Leisure (ALG) $1.47 -7.9%
4 Super Retail Group (SUL) $7.78 5.9% 4 Eclipx Group (ECX) $1.83 -7.6%
5 Iress (IRE) $12.71 5.7% 5 Automotive Holdings (AHG) $1.96 -7.3%
Prepared by Canstar. Prices taken as of week to week close.

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