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How are these ASX 200 retail shares tracking after JobKeeper’s end?

Many investors feared the end of the government’s JobKeeper program would torpedo ASX 200 retail shares. Were they right?
The post How are these ASX 200 retail shares tracking after JobKeeper’s end? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –

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Do you remember all the investor handwringing over the looming end of JobKeeper?

How the end to the government’s COVID-19 worker and employer support program would send the share prices of leading S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) listed retail shares spiralling lower?

Well, it’s now been 6 trading days since JobKeeper came to an official close on 28 March. (Remember, the ASX was closed on Friday and Monday for the Easter holiday.) And 2 of the leading ASX 200 retail shares indicate the doomsayers may have been channelling their inner Chicken Little, at least in this short period.

We’ll look at those to retail shares below. But first…

Not everyone was surprised by the resilience of the ASX 200 retail sector.

In the days just before JobKeeper wound down, 1851 Capital portfolio manager’s Martin Hickson said (quoted by the Australian Financial Review):

We aren’t concerned around the end of JobKeeper. We have already been through the large step down in JobKeeper at the end of September when the number of Australians on JobKeeper went from 4 million to 1 million. Over that period the economic data actually accelerated.

Alphinity Investment Management principal Andrew Martin agreed, saying:

We’re not too worried about the end of JobKeeper. The banks are a good proxy for the domestic economy and they’re feeling much better about the world. The average person is still feeling pretty well off, interest rates are low, people’s house prices are going up and all that is only good for spending.

Martin did add the caveat that ASX investors shouldn’t expect the same growth level as during the early months of rebound following the broader market crash last year. “You’re not going to see the same retail sales growth rates you saw last year, but it also won’t fall in a heap.”

Two leading ASX 200 retailers

Narrowing our focus to 2 leading ASX retail shares, we turn first to online and in-store electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi Ltd (ASX: JBH).

The JB Hi-Fi share price, down o.7% in afternoon trade today, is up 14% over the past month. That compares to a 3% gain on the ASX 200. Since the opening bell on 29 March, following the end of JobKeeper, JB Hi-Fi shares are up 0.3%.

JB Hi-Fi has a market cap of $6 billion and pays a dividend yield of 5.3%, fully franked.

Next up, ASX 200 retail giant Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES), which holds big-name subsidiaries including Bunnings Warehouse, Kmart Australia, and Officeworks.

The Wesfarmers share price is up 8% over the past month and up 2% since JobKeeper ended on 28 March.

Wesfarmers has a market cap of $60.5 billion and pays a dividend yield of 3.1%, fully franked.

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Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Wesfarmers Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

The post How are these ASX 200 retail shares tracking after JobKeeper’s end? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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