Strong share sales driven by energy

STRONG gains in the value of shares on the Australian bourse during March were driven by the energy, resources and banking sectors.

A report by stockbroker Bell Securities Limited says the All Ordinaries Index gained 3 per cent during March to close at 2967.19 after reaching a record intra-day high of 3005.2 on March 23.

The strongest industry grouping performance on the trading boards came from the energy sector which reported a 14.5 per cent gain during the month.

This was driven by a 32.9 per cent increase in Oil Search and 21.2 per cent rise in Woodside Petroleum.

Other winners included the diversified resources sub-industry grouping which experienced a 10.1 per cent increase, with a rise of 11.3 per cent in BHP and 9.5 per cent increase in Rio Tinto being key features.

The banking sector reported a 7.5 per cent rise with the 10.1 per cent increase in ANZ and 8 per cent rise in Westpac being the strongest performers.

Losers included the building materials sector reporting the most significant decline of 6.7 per cent, attributable to the 11.8 per cent decrease in CSR and the 3.5 per cent decline in Pioneer International prices.

The chemicals sector had a 5 per cent fall, attributable to the 12.8 per cent drop in the Incitec share price.

The paper and packaging industry grouping had a 2.8 per cent fall, largely due to the 1.4 per cent decrease in Amcor’s share price.

The All Industrials Index reported a 2.4 per cent gain in March, the All Resources Index rose by 7.2 per cent and the All Mining Index fell by 1.4 per cent.

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