The winners and losers
A key indicator of the feebleness in the ASX 200’s push higher is the clear lack of breadth across the Australian share-market. Activity in the ASX was predominantly underpinned by a bounce in commodity prices last week, translating into a 3.63% climb in the materials sector. The biggest gainers in the sector were the major blue-chips, with Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals and BHP Billiton each rallying in the ballpark of 6-9%, respectively. The trading dynamic points to a lack of conviction and risk appetite amongst investors, who are trading not on corporate fundamentals but swings in sentiment and broader macro trends.
The losers in the market were easier to spot last week, with the sectoral map drenched in a sea of red. For example, a slight uplift in financials, led by strong activity in Macquarie shares, was the only other gaining sector, up by only half a per cent – indicating once more how sentiment driven the ASX 200’s performance was last week. When it comes to individual large-cap stocks, the extent of the losses across sectors meant a variety of industries were represented in the worst performers: QANTAS shed the most for the week, at 4.82%, closely followed by Origin Energy, which stripped 4.31%.