The Halifax's monthly stockwatch has revealed that the food producers and processors sector gave the best shareholder returns on the FTSE 100 in March.
Delivering a total shareholder return (TSR) of four per cent, the sector was dominated by Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever, with a TSR of five per cent, and confectionery leviathan Cadbury Schweppes, which recorded a four per cent TSR.
The next-best performing sector was personal care and household products, gleaning a TSR of three per cent with Reckitt Benckiser leading the way at four per cent TSR.
Worst off were steel and other metals, reporting a TSR of -0.9 per cent and coming bottom of the FTSE 100 sectors.
Despite the good performances in food and personal care, Halifax reports that share price performance ran contrary to the normal pattern for March, with the FTSE 100 falling to the lowest monthly average rise for the month since 1920.
"The FTSE 100 had a disappointing March, with the rise of 0.5 per cent below its long-term average and the index remains below the 5,000 mark attained in February," admitted John Bearman, head of UK equities with Halifax. Click here to find out more about share prices.
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