The ASX rose strongly today, but was unable to hold onto its gains, ending the day slightly lower.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) down 0.1% to 4995 points
  • ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO) down 0.1% to 5070 points
  • AUD/USD at US 76.34 cents
  • Iron Ore at US$54.80 a tonne, according to the Metal Bulletin
  • Gold at US$1,217.74 an ounce
  • Brent oil at US$38.29 a barrel

Local shares gave up a strong lead this afternoon, prompted in part by retreating oil prices as well as disappointing economic data. This included flat retail sales for February and a 0.2% decline in March consumer prices.

BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) was one of the biggest disappointments, shedding 2.7%. Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) and Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG) lost 4.3% and 5.5% as well, while Senex Energy Ltd (ASX: SXY) plunged 10.2%.

The big four banks produced mixed results. National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) lifted 0.6% and 0.2%, whereas Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) ended mostly flat.

Blackmores Limited (ASX: BKL) was one of the best shares for the day, rising 4.3%.

Here are Monday’s top stories:

  1. Why you needn’t worry about your Bellamy’s Australia Ltd shares
  2. Senex Energy Ltd shares crash 10% on $6m lawsuit
  3. Why the RCR Tomlinson share price is sinking today
  4. Is this the end for iron ore miner Arrium Ltd?
  5. Why the Pro Medicus Limited share price is rocketing today
  6. Which is the better mega-miner – Rio Tinto Limited or BHP Billiton Limited?
  7. A bargain hunter’s guide to Beach Energy Ltd

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman owns shares of Bellamy's Australia. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Bellamy's Australia. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.