The market capitalisation of Western Australia’s listed companies has risen by 1.8 per cent in March, boosted by natural gas and aluminium prices, according to Deloitte’s latest report.
Deloitte’s WA Index, a monthly review of the state’s stocks, indicated that the market capitalisation of Western Australian listed companies closed at $165.9 billion in March.
The best performer was US natural gas, with prices increasing around 21.8 per cent during month. This was amid growing LNG exports, rising industrial demand and the progressive replacement of coal-fired power plants.
Aluminium was another top performing commodity, with its price rising after China announced it would have its smelters reduce capacity by 30 per cent during winter to minimise pollution.
Copper and gold remained stable, while the iron ore price fell 11.4 per cent, driven by the declining steel demand in China.
Crude oil also experienced a decline of 5.6 per cent due to the rise of US inventory levels and drilling rig counts.
The mining companies that experienced strong growth during this period included South32, with its market capitalisation rising 10.8 per cent to $1.4 billion, due to high manganese and coking coal prices.
This was followed by Iluka Resources, with its market capitalisation increasing 12.4 per cent to $352.3 million due to the signs of recovery of zirconium and titanium oxide prices.
Emeco Holding also experienced market capitalisation growth, with a 279.4 per cent rise following its merger with Andy’s Earth Movers and OrionStone.
Tim Richards, Deloitte clients & markets partner for Western Australia, said it was “an interesting month of conflicting market dynamics”.
“The WA Index was influenced by a multitude of events this month, with March being a rather average month for commodity prices, especially iron ore which came off recent highs,” he said.
“That said, the WA Index has proved itself to be diversified enough to hold its own and even boast modest growth in the face of commodity price challenges and general economic uncertainty.”