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ASX 200 March Review, Market Movers and Sector Performance

ASX 200 March Review, Market Movers and Sector Performance
83.5% of all companies on the ASX200 (167 of the top 200 companies) finished the month in the black.
Apr 01, 2016 By Simon Herrmann Tags: ASX, ASX200, Analysis, ASX Review

The ASX200 posted the first positive month of the year rising 4.1% in March to finish the quarter on a somewhat positive note. However the Australian benchmark index of the 200 largest companies is still down 4% for the year. The index tumbled 5.5% in January and declined a further 2.5% in February to reach the low point on February 12, before staging a 400 point recovery buoyed by Energy and Materials stocks.

83.5% of all companies on the ASX200 (167 of the top 200 companies) finished the month in the black while only 33 participants experiences losses. As a comparison 60.5% of all companies have gained year-to-date. All sectors finished in the black in March with Financials, Materials, IT and Energy leading the advance. Let’s take a closer a look at the developments witnessed during March

Please note that all prices are as of 31/03/2016. No guarantee is made for the accuracy of this data. Dividend payments are not included in the total returns.

ASX200 March Sector Performance

Before we assess the individual sector performance, it is worth noting that Australia’s primary benchmark index S&P/ASX200 added 4.1% for the month. The broader All Ordinaries, which includes the 500 largest companies on the ASX, gained 4.1% as well. The Small Ordinaries gained 4.5%, yet again outperforming blue-chip companies.

 

Index

March

YTD

ASX200

+4.1%

-4%

All Ordinaries

+4.1%

-3.6%

Small Ordinaries

+4.5%

-0.2%

 

The table below contains 10 major industry groups of the ASX200 and their performance as a group year-to-date.

 

Sector

 

March

 

YTD

Financials

+5.62%

-8.29%

Materials

+5.47%

+3.27%

IT

+5.35%

-6.42%

Energy

+5.27%

-2.51%

Discretion

+4.15%

-0.35%

Staples

+2.30%

-3.69%

Telcos

+1.85%

-3.06%

Industrials

+1.69%

+4.75%

HC

+1.04%

-2.37%

Utilities

+0.54%

+1.89%

Best ASX200 Performers March

The table below contains the ten best performing stocks on the ASX200 year-to-date. This table does not include any dividend payments and solely focuses on capital growth.

 

Ticker

Company

March

 YTD

Industry

MSB

Mesoblast Ltd

+33.9%

 +38.9%

Health Care

SGM

Sims Metal

+30.1%

+20.8%

Materials

PMV

Premier Investments

+28.4%

+19.2%

Consumer Discretionary

WOR

Worley Parsons

+28.1%

+16.2%

Energy

SIP

Sigma Pharmaceuticals

+27.7%

+22.6%

Health Care

ACX

Aconex Ltd

+27.1%

+27.1%

Information Technology

FMG

Fortescue Metals

+26.7%

+38.2%

Materials

BPT

Beach Energy Ltd

+23.6%

+33.7%

Energy

RFG

Retail Food Group

+22.8%

+14.3%

Consumer Discretionary

STO

Santos Ltd

+21.8%

+11.3%

Energy

 

This month’s top 10 list is a colourful mix of companies from Health Care, Materials, Consumer Discretionary, Energy and Information Technology. During the first two months of the year, the list fo the best performing stocks was dominated by resource and energy stocks, however as we have seen broad gains across most sectors, gains appear more diversified. It is worth noting that no financial services company can be found in this month’s “top 10”. The best performing company from the financial sector was Medibank Private (ASX:MPL) in spot 15 and the frist “real” bank is Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) in spot 22.

Best ASX200 Performers Year-to-Date 

 

Ticker

Company

YTD

Industry

PRY

Primary Health

+62.7%

Health Care

MIN

Mineral Resources

+52.2%

Industrials

CIM

CIMIC Group

+45.2%

Industrials

 

Primary Health Care (ASX:PRY) is the best performing ASX200 stock year-to-date. The health care provider is up nearly 63% year-to-date, rising from $2.34 to $3.75 within the first quarter of the year. Mineral Resources Limited (ASX:MIN) was the best performing stock in February and despite adding “only” 4.3% in March, is still one of the best stocks so far this year. The 'top 3' are complemented by construction giant CIMIC Group (ASX:CIM) up 45.2%.

 

Worst ASX200 Performers in March

The table below contains the ten worst performing stocks on the ASX200 in March. This table does not account for dividend payments.

 

Ticker

Company

March

YTD

Industry

EVN

Evolution Mining

-13.1%

+10%

Materials

LNG

Liquefied Natural Gas

-12.3%

-33.8%

Energy

NST

Northern Star

-11.3%

+24.4%

Materials

SRX

Sirtex Medical

-9.6%

-27.8%

Health Care

SYR

Syrah Resources

-8.3%

+4.1%

Materials

RMD

Resmed

-8.2%

+0.4%

Health Care

RHC

Ramsay Healthcare

-6.7%

-9%

Health Care

RRL

Regis Resources

-5.4%

+6.9%

Materials

CWY

Cleanaway Waste

-5.2%

-1.6%

Industrials

BAL

Bellamy’s

-5.1%

-23.8%

Consumer Staples

 

We note that a number of gold mining companies are amongst the worst performing ASX200 stocks for the month. While gold has improved substantially so far this year, numerous gold producers have increased in value in 2016. However, gold prices have eased in March, and it appears that investors have decided to capitalise on the most recent gains.

Liquefied Natural Gas (ASX:LNG) lost more than 12% in March and also happened to be one of the worst performing stocks year-to-date. Since the beginning of the year LNG has lost more than 30% and is now trading below $1. The stock was flirting with the $5 level back in May 2015. 

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Simon Herrmann Author: Simon Herrmann Apr 01, 2016

Simon is a financial analyst at independent research firm Wise-owl who wants to change the world by disrupting the cliché approach to investment decision making with convergent thinking. Wise-owl’s goal is plain and simple: Find the best opportunities for our members by following a proven methodology and to create long-term value through high-quality advice, innovation, technology and education. We combine industry experience and the agile mentality of a start-up. Wise-owl is the future of stock market investing.

ASX & IPO Review for Q1 2017

The first three months of 2017 were characterised by low volatility and overall bullish sentiment. After a 4.2% gain during the fourth quarter of 2016, favourable market conditions on the ASX were sustained during the first quarter of 2017.

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