top 5 weekly share price gains
Two financial groups, a grocery distributor and a pathology centres operator made it to last week’s list of best-performing stocks in the S&P/ASX 200 Index, which climbed 0.4%.
Here are the winners and losers in the ASX 200 for the week ended Friday, May 20.
Top 5 share price gains
Weekly rise: 15.5% to $2.01
Metcash (ASX: MTS) shares advanced after one of the large investment houses published a research note on the grocery and hardware wholesaler.
The company hasn’t filed any price-sensitive announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) since last November, when it reported a 20% jump in first-half profit after tax.
Weekly rise: 13.1% to $8.73
Shares in Graincorp (ASX: GNC) rebounded last week after posting three weekly losses in a row.
The company said on May 11 its statutory net profit slumped 33% for the half year ended March 31 due to challenging trading conditions. The stock had lost 6.5% in the three weeks to May 13.
Weekly rise: 9.1% to $5.25
Henderson Group (ASX: HGG) said it plans to buy back its own shares on the London Stock Exchange and its CHESS Depository Interests on the ASX beginning June 1, with an intention to return surplus capital to shareholders.
The London-based investment management company said it will spend up to £25m for the share buyback, which will be completed by December 31.
Primary Health Care
Weekly rise: 9.1% to $3.60
Healthcare stocks, led by Primary Health Care (ASX: PRY), gained after the Turnbull government pledged to regulate escalating rents at pathology centres.
The potential intervention from the Coalition government, if re-elected, could help those operating pathology clinics such as Primary to significantly cut rental costs and boost profit margins.
Weekly rise: 8.7% to $4.73
CYBG (ASX: CYB), the holding company for the Clydesdale Bank spun off by National Australia Bank, hasn’t made any material ASX announcement since its listing in February.
Its shares increased in all five trading days last week after one of the large investment houses published a research note on the company.
Market movers this week
Leaders from the Group of Seven countries – Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, UK and the US – and the European Union will meet at the G7 Summit in Ise-Shima, Japan, this Thursday and Friday to discuss international economic and political issues.
The G7 finance ministers and central bank governors had on Saturday talked about issues on currency manipulation by members, which could impact markets this week, CommSec said.
Investors will also closely watch economic data scheduled to be released in the US this week, particularly gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the world’s largest economy during the first quarter.
“US economic growth may have lifted at a 0.8% annual rate in the March quarter, up from the ‘advance’ reading of 0.5%,” said CommSec.
As for Australia, data on construction work for the March quarter will be out on Wednesday. The data on completed residential work is important because it feeds into the calculation of the nation’s quarterly GDP growth, which will be published on June 1, CommSec said.
Other key Australian economic data this week includes business investment for the three months to March, which also contributes to the economic growth data.
The authorities and markets will be particularly interested in the figures on non-mining spending, CommSec added.
Top 5 share price falls
Supplements provider Blackmores (ASX: BKL), which recently launched its infant formula products, tumbled 12.6% over five days to $158.69, while its rival Bellamy’s Australia (ASX: BAL) slumped 11.3% to $10.36.
The shares of both companies were battered after an Australian news report said last week uncertainties in the new import taxes imposed by China last month have forced courier companies to suspend deliveries of baby formula from Australia to China.
The report said the couriers are uncertain whether Chinese customs would clear their parcels while in the process of upgrading their systems to apply the tax changes.
It added that China’s authorities began collecting taxes of as high as 60% on packages posted to individuals from overseas, causing “chaos” at post offices across China, where shoppers have to wait long hours to pay taxes before collecting their parcels.
FlexiGroup (ASX: FXL) lost 11.2% to $2.22 without posting any ASX announcement in the past month.
Seven West Media (ASX: SWM) slipped 10.2% to $1.06. The group hasn’t filed any price-sensitive statements to the ASX since February, when it announced its half-year results.
IOOF Holdings (ASX: IFL) shed 8.9% to $8.20 after the financial services company told investors it expects to post full-year underlying net profit after tax of $173m to $176m, which would be flat from last year’s profit of $174m.