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These were the best performing ASX 200 shares last week

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The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was out of form last week. Over the five days, the benchmark index dropped 0.7% to end the period at 7,063.6 points.

Fortunately, not all shares dropped lower with the market. Here’s why these were the best performing ASX 200 shares last week:

The St Barbara share price was the best performer last week with a 16.4% gain. Investors were bidding the gold miner’s shares higher amid speculation it could be a takeover target of neighbouring WA-based peers. In addition, a strong rise in the gold price gave gold shares a boost. The latter helped drive Gold Road Resources Ltd (ASX: GOR), Silver Lake Resources Limited (ASX: SLR), and a number of other gold miners notably higher last week.

Incitec Pivot Ltd (ASX: IPL)

The Incitec Pivot share price was on form and charged 12.8% higher over the five days. This appears to have been driven by a broker note out of Credit Suisse. According to the note, the broker upgraded the agricultural chemicals company’s shares to an outperform rating with a $3.85 price target. Credit Suisse believes Incitec Pivot will benefit from higher fertiliser prices.

The Mesoblast share price wasn’t far behind with a 10.6% gain last week. This is despite news that the biotechnology company’s shares will be kicked out of the ASX 200 later this month at the next rebalance. Though, with its shares down by 50% over the last 12 months even after this gain, some bargain hunters may believe Mesoblast’s shares had bottomed.

The Sims share price was a solid performer and rose 7.1% over the period. While there was no news out of the scrap metal company, it was the subject of a broker note out of UBS. In response to rising scrap metal prices, the broker has retained its buy rating and lifted its price target by 7.5% to $20.30.

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