CHART: The best, and worst, performing sectors on the ASX so far in 2017

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Healthcare was the best performing sector on the ASX in the first three months of 2017.

Analysis by Credit Suisse shows healthcare returned 13%, bouncing back from being one of the worst performing sectors in the last quarter of 2016 when it fell 9%.

Australian healthcare stocks trade at a 50% premium to global peers.

“This is at the highest of the 5-year range,” says Credit Suisse.

“Mayne Pharma looks especially cheap considering its growth outlook and operating margins. Conversely, Cochlear looks very expensive.”

Here are the top 10 healthcare shares:

Source: Credit Suisse

In the March quarter, shares in transport companies lost investors 9%, compared to a 7% gain in the December quarter.

“Aussie miners lost their momentum due to tumbling commodity prices, while gold stocks recovered significantly as investors look for a safe haven against the backdrop of rising global geopolitical uncertainty,” write analysts Hasan Tevfik and Peter Liu in a note to clients.

“Banks and diversified financials continued their outperformance in 1Q17 but so far they have been underperforming in the second quarter.”

Here are the winning, and losing, sectors:

ASX-listed companies are in the middle of a big profit year.

Credit Suisse says Australian companies are forecast to grow EPS (earnings per share) at 20% for the 12 months to June this year and then slow to 6% for the year to June 2018.

Forecasts for both years have increased since the start of the year.

Of the expected $18 billion rise in ASX200 profits, 80% will come from the commodity producers,

“The laggards are the companies we classify as cyclicals,” says Credit Suisse.

“This includes Qantas, Amcor, Brambles and Aurizon. Meanwhile the biggest drag on June-17 EPS growth in this sector includes Brambles, Incitec Pivot and Seven West Media.”

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