NAB shares climb while iron ore miners run into trouble | ASX 200 risers and fallers

As sentiment leans bullish, the ASX 200 has closed out the week near all time highs. NAB and Afterpay both rose, while Rio Tinto and BHP suffered as the outlook for iron ore soured.

The local market was dominated by a bullish sentiment during the first four days of trade, as the ASX 200 pushed close to all-time highs.

While the ASX 200 has pulled back slightly on Friday, the blue-chip index is still up 1.5% for the week, reaching 6,795 as of 15:53 AEST on Friday.

What’s driving the local market higher?

If a dovish speech by RBA’s Governor Phillip Lowe helped the ASX rise during Thursday afternoon – it was likely renewed global growth concerns, stemming from Thursday night’s European Central Bank (ECB) meeting that spooked Australian investors on Friday.

Of the eurozone economy, ECB boss Mario Draghi worringly said ‘the outlook is getting worse and worse.’

Though these developments most likely caused the ASX 200 to drop today, a number of stocks still posted impressive gains throughout the week

ASX 200 risers

The National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) was a strong performer over the last five trading sessions, closing the week out 3.16% higher.

These gains come off the back of the bank’s recent appointment of Ross McEwan as CEO.

Speaking of his appointment, Mr McEwan said:

‘It is essential that I protect and accelerate the bank’s transformation program. The community also expects a higher level of accountability and transparency from the banking industry. Australians deserve NAB to be a world-class service provider.’

Investors were evidently pleased with NAB's choice of CEO. Of the big four banks, NAB is now the best performing year-to-date, with its share price up 21%.

Afterpay share price rebounds

Shares in the high-flying, buy now pay later leader (BNPL) have rebounded some 6.8% over the last five trading sessions.

With no news out on Afterpay Holdings Limited (ASX: APT), it’s possible investors are simply ‘buying the dip’ in anticipation of the company’s 2019 full-year earnings, set to be released next month.

General enthusiasm for companies in the BNPL space has hit fever pitch in recent times, as new providers rush to the market.

Next Tuesday, for example, the high-growth US and Canadian focused BNPL company Sezzle, will list on the Australian stock exchange.

ASX 200 fallers

As we covered yesterday, ASX 200 blue-chip miners BHP Billiton Ltd, Rio Tinto Ltd and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd all witnessed heavy losses in the latter part of the week as it was revealed that Brazilian mining giant Vale would resume production.

A piece of UBS analysis that argued that iron ore could run as low as $80 per tonne didn’t help matters, fuelling the aggressive sell-down of Australian iron ore miners Wednesday and Thursday.

While BHP and Rio Tinto both saw their share prices rebound slightly today – the companies are still down 1.01% and 4.05% for the week, respectively.

Fortescue Metals Group’s share price remained subdued on Friday, even after the company reported record quarterly shipments of 46.6 million tonnes the day prior.

All up, over the last five trading sessions Fortescue Metals Group’s share price has declined 5.18%.

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