Best and worst stocks on the ASX today

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has finished the session near its intra-day high, up 0.6%.

The up day follows a mixed session on Wall Street overnight where US stocks briefly spiked higher, then spent much of the day in the red, before rallying in the afternoon to close in positive territory with the Dow Jones up 0.55%, and the S&P 500 up 0.68%.

On the economic front, news today provided only mild support for stocks. Chinese GDP data beat expectations however the growth rate was at its lowest in 18 months; meanwhile the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Leading Index forecast that economic growth will be below trend.

All sectors finished higher except utilities. The biggest gainers were information technology, energy and industrials with gains of 2.5%, 1.2% and 1.1% respectively.

Here are the top five best performing stocks in the index today:

  • Karoon Gas Australia Limited (ASX: KAR) rallied 6.2% to $2.76
  • Ten Network Holdings Limited (ASX: TEN) jumped 6% to 26.5 cents
  • Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF) added 5.6% to $6.45
  • Echo Entertainment Group Ltd (ASX: EGP) gained 4.9% to $2.78
  • Buru Energy Limited (ASX: BRU) closed up 4.8% to $1.21

These stocks were the losers on the day:

  • Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX: LYC) slumped 7.5% to 18.5 cents
  • Iluka Resources Limited (ASX: ILU) lost 6.8% to $9.11
  • Sandfire Resources NL (ASX: SFR) dropped 4.2% to $5.74
  • Paladin Energy Ltd (ASX: PDN) fell 3.2% to 45 cents
  • Beadell Resources Ltd (ASX: BDR) closed down 3.1% to 63 cents

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur owns shares in Echo Entertainment Group Ltd.

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