The mining and consumer staple sectors are the only major sectors on the ASX marching ahead in 2020.

Of the ASX’s 10 GICS (Global Industry Classification Standard) sectors, the only groups to record a positive result were Consumer Staples (30) and Materials (15), which includes mining.

These sectors have advanced 5 per cent and 18 per cent respectively.

The remaining sectors have been hit by losses this year.

GICS Sector Name GICS Code Average % Change of ASX stocks in 2020
Communication Services 50 5
Consumer Discretionary 25 -9
Consumer staples 30 -5
energy 10 -17
Financials 40 -12
IT 45 -6
Health 35 -6
Materials 15 18
Industrials 20 -19
Real Estate 60 -20
Utilities 55 -1.56

 

The consumer staples group predominantly consists of food and agriculture stocks as well as wellness product stocks. These are typically considered essential as opposed to consumer discretionary goods.

As a consequence, many of these companies were either able to continue operating, or able to thrive through online sales.

Winners include Skin Elements (ASX:SKN), which is up nearly 800 per cent this year, and Wide Open Agriculture (ASX:WOA), which has more than tripled.

Another notable performer is large cap Coles (ASX:COL), which is up 14 per cent.

That’s a notable achievement considering the ASX200’s fall this year and that Coles’ duopoly competitor Woolworths (ASX:WOW) remains virtually flat over the same period.

As for the materials sector, which is populated mostly (although not exclusively) by mining stocks, it has been buoyed by exploration successes in the junior exploration space.

The larger caps, meanwhile, have been propelled upwards by solid commodity prices, particularly gold.

The most successful stocks include De Grey Mining (ASX:DEG), Chalice Gold Mines (ASX:CHN) and Predictive Discovery (ASX:PDI). De Grey has been the most successful, up over 1200 per cent this year.

 

Best performing micro-sectors

While the only broader sector winners were materials and consumer staples, there were a number of winners among micro-sectors as judged by their  “GICS Industry” – a sub classification used to further divide stocks.

One winner is Diversified Telecommunication Stocks which collectively are up 17.6 per cent in 2020 thanks largely to the forced shift to remote working as a result of COVID-19.

The headline figure comes despite casualties in the sector this year including Speedcast (ASX:SDA) and Sky and Space Global (ASX:SAS).

Code Name Price (23 June) % Return YTD Market Cap
5GN 5G NETWORKS LTD/AUSTRALIA 1.21 61.33 104.97M
FSG FIELD SOLUTIONS HOLDINGS LTD 0.04 48 19.63M
FRX FLEXIROAM LTD 0.01 -6.25 4.58M
SLC SUPERLOOP LTD 1.01 4.64 371.35M
UNL UNITED NETWORKS LTD 0.03 -21.88 9.81M
OPC OPTICOMM LTD 5.29 33.62 550.56M
TLS TELSTRA CORP LTD 3.19 -7.83 37.94B
ST1 SPIRIT TELECOM LTD 0.2 -4.76 86.18M
MAQ MACQUARIE TELECOM GROUP LTD 39.99 72.3 853.38M
MNF MNF GROUP LTD 5.52 12.46 465.40M
TPM TPG TELECOM LTD 8.9 33.18 8.26B
VN8 VONEX LTD 0.11 10 18.80M
VOC VOCUS GROUP LTD 3 3.5 1.84B
UWL UNITI GROUP LTD 1.65 8.77 586.46M

 

Food & Staples retailing, the category containing our major supermarkets, was solid as well with a 16 per cent gain.

But online retailing has been particularly hot having gained 41 per cent. Solid performers here include online wine retailer Digital Wine Ventures (ASX:DW8) and Kogan (ASX:KGN).

The latter stock has become a billion-dollar company as well as a seven-bagger since its 2016 IPO.

Code Name Price (I) Total Return YTD (I) Market Cap
JAY JAYRIDE GROUP LTD 0.14 -60 14.71M
WHK WHITEHAWK LTD 0.1 14.94 15.90M
INP INCENTIAPAY LTD 0.03 76.47 19.68M
ICQ ICAR ASIA LTD 0.29 -3.33 124.88M
TPW TEMPLE & WEBSTER GROUP LTD 5.66 108.09 641.97M
RBL REDBUBBLE LTD 1.57 38.94 410.18M
KGN KOGAN.COM LTD 14.41 92.85 1.49B
HT8 HARRIS TECHNOLOGY GROUP LTD 0.03 222.22 5.52M
AHL AHALIFE HOLDINGS LTD 0.01 -25 7.98M
WEB WEBJET LTD 3.78 -59.03 1.28B
DW8 DIGITAL WINE VENTURES LTD 0.02 128.57 20.16M
CL8 COLLABORATE CORP LTD 0.01 -43.75 10.37M

 

Another solid performing micro-sector is Life Sciences Tools & Services, which has gained 38 per cent, and it’s not just because of COVID-19.

One winner was kidney disease fighter Proteomics International (ASX:PIQ). Earlier this month it released significant results from a pivotal study on the power of its blood test, PromarkerD, to predict diseases.

Genetic Signatures (ASX:GSS), meanwhile, has also gained ground following the development of a COVID-19 test kit that it received approval to sell back in April.

Code Name Price (I) % Return YTD Market Cap
PIQ PROTEOMICS INTERNATIONAL LAB 0.44 62.96 40.66M
GSS GENETIC SIGNATURES LTD 1.97 91.26 280.94M
GTG GENETIC TECHNOLOGIES LTD 0.01 9.09 45.08M
PAL PALLA PHARMA LTD 0.81 -23.7 101.39M
MEM MEMPHASYS LTD 0.06 12 42.22M
CTE CRYOSITE LTD 0.13 145.28 6.09M
ADO ANTEOTECH LTD 0.02 -2.51 34.53M
OSL ONCOSIL MEDICAL LTD 0.13 -22.01 108.17M
BPH BPH ENERGY LTD 0.02 70 6.34M