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Best and worst stocks on the ASX today

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) gave up its morning gains during the afternoon and briefly entered the red before ending Monday flat, registering a gain of just 0.09% at the close.

The muted session was a good result considering the sell-off on Wall Street last Friday which saw the Dow Jones lose 0.85% and the S&P 500 fall 0.81%, following renewed tensions between Ukraine and Russia that left US investors’ nervous heading into the weekend.

The local market appeared to brush aside the Ukrainian issue and initially headed higher after baker Goodman Fielder announced an approach from a potential acquirer. By the afternoon however, investor enthusiasm appeared to wane after the release of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) report stated it expects the Australian economy to grow below trend.

In response to the IMF report mining stocks took a tumble leaving the materials sector down 0.84%. The industrials, consumer discretionary, energy, health care and information technology sectors also all closed lower. The financial, property, consumer staples, telco and utility sectors all finished higher.

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

  • Goodman Fielder Ltd (ASX: GFF) soared 15.5% to 63.5 cents
  • Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) rallied 4.8% to $10.74
  • Beadell Resources Ltd (ASX: BDR) jumped 4.5% to 69.5 cents
  • Evolution FPO (ASX: EVN) added 4.4% to 94 cents
  • Mount Gibson Iron Limited (ASX: MGX) climbed 3.2% to 79.5 cents

These stocks were the losers on the day:

  • Acrux Limited (ASX: ACR) plunged 33.2% to $1.105
  • Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX: LYC) sunk 8.1% to 17 cents
  • Karoon Gas Australia Limited (ASX: KAR) dropped 7.6% to $2.69
  • Aquila Resources Limited (ASX: AQA) lost 5.7% to $2.48
  • Atlas Iron Limited (ASX: AGO) fell 5.1% to 92.5 cents

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur owns shares in Goodman Fielder Ltd.

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