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Australian share market reaches an all time high

The market has achieved new record levels in recent months, driven by the performance of the resources sector and strong company profits. There have already been over 60 IPOs this year, with 74% of these companies trading at or above their issue price on 16 May 2006.

The S&P/ASX 200 index has increased 10% since the start of the year. Surging prices of gold and base metals such as copper, zinc and nickel, coupled with strong company profits have underpinned the strength of the market. During May we’ve also seen the market positively respond to the federal budget, and the S&P /ASX 200 index reached a new all time high of 5364.5 on 10 May 2006.

More than 60 companies have listed on ASX since January 1 this year. The performance of these debutantes ranges from a 350 per cent gain to a 70 per cent loss from their issue price with the average and median gains being 29% and 9%, respectively.  Overall, 74% of these companies were trading at or above their issue price on 16 May 2006. In 2005, 232 new companies listed on the ASX, compared with 202 new listings 2004 and 124 in 2003.

There have also been some significant capital raisings during the month of April with Dyno Nobel Limited and Commonwealth Bank of Australia PERLS III each raising over $1 billion.

Australian market performance in April 2006 - Summary statistics table

S&P/ASX 200 at month end 5258.8
% change for the month 2.5%
% change 12 months to 28 April 2006 32.0%
No. of entities quoted on ASX at month end 1903
New ASX Listings (April 2006) 14