12/04/2010 - 10:53

Deloitte WA index surges 7% in March

12/04/2010 - 10:53

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The market capitalisation of Western Australian listed companies continued their strong growth in March, with the Deloitte WA Index increasing 7 per cent during the month to $170.3 billion.

Deloitte WA index surges 7% in March

The market capitalisation of Western Australian listed companies continued their strong growth in March, with the Deloitte WA Index increasing 7 per cent during the month to $170.3 billion.

Managing partner of Deloitte in Western Australia, Keith Jones, said the Deloitte WA index experienced a surge in value in March, following strong growth in February

"The strength of the Deloitte WA Index in March has again been underpinned by the mining sector, particularly iron ore, which correlates with a significant increase in commodity prices, driven by high levels of demand from China," Mr Jones said.

Woodside Petroleum showed a significant increase for the month of $2.7b (8.1 per cent), with strong growth also shown by Fortescue Metals Group and Wesfarmers of $776m (5.4 per cent) and $663m (2.1 per cent) respectively.

The 'Movers and Shakers' for March were iron ore focussed companies, Grange Resources, Sphere Minerals and Giralia Resources, with increases in market capitalisation of 58.3 per cent, 41.6 per cent and 40.9 per cent respectively.

Grange Resources increased market capitalisation by $241 million, which continued a consistent growth in share prices. During March Acorn Capital purchased 50 million Grange shares from Stemcor Pellets Ltd, taking Acorn's interest in Grange to 4.35%.

Sphere Minerals released its December 2009 interim results during March reporting a strong balance sheet as it continues its magnetite-quartzite exploration. Sphere also issued 1.5 million employee share options during the month.

During March Giralia shareholders received their holding statements for the shares in Gascoyne Resources, following the Company's joint listing of Gascoyne with Helix Resources last year. Giralia shareholders had approved the in-specie distribution of 14.6m of its 18.2m Gascoyne shares to shareholders of Giralia in February.

All of the major world indices also increased during March. The Nikkei led the way with an increase of 9.5 per cent for the month, followed by the FTSE 100, US S&P 500 and the Australian All Ordinaries with increases of 6.3 per cent, 6.2 per cent and 5.2 per cent respectively.

The commodities market in March performed well, with gains made by all commodities surveyed aside from Lead and Gold which decreased by 1 per cent and 0.39 per cent respectively.

Nickel was the stand out performer once again with another double digit increase of 18.32 per cent to US$24,960 per tonne - the highest price for Nickel since May 2008.

The increase is a result of improved economic growth in China driving up demand for steel and nickel. Palladium, Aluminium, Copper, Zinc, Tin and Platinum were also strong performers with increases of 11.05 per cent, 9.11 per cent, 8.27 per cent, 7.95 per cent, 7.83 per cent and 6.58 per cent respectively.

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