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3 of the best ASX stocks today

The S&P / ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has closed flat at 4,959.0, despite The All Ords Index briefly passing through the psychologically important (but otherwise unimportant) 5,000 mark. With no major news and a lack of strong leads from offshore, it was going to take some significant news to move the market today. As it happened, it was a quiet day for company reporting, so no real surprises that it ended steady.

The Australian dollar continues to slip against the US dollar, now fetching US 102.6 cents.

These three stocks were the best performers in the ASX 200, rising by more than 8%.

Mining machinery maker, Bradken Limited (ASX: BKN) climbed 11% to end at $6.77 and spurred a rally in other mining services stocks. The company surprised the market with a 9% rise in first half profit to $46.7 million, with revenues rising in its mining products, mineral processing and rail businesses. With miners cutting back on expansion plans, worries over global growth, and falling commodities prices, mining services in general have seen their share prices tumble.

Pharmaceuticals company Acrux Limited (ASX: ACR) which markets a range of innovative, patented technologies to administer drugs through the skin, jumped by 9.9%, and closed at $3.90, after the company announced that it had a patent application in the US extended for another 11 years. The patent is designed to protect the company’s main product, Axiron, which treats testosterone deficiency in men, from companies that could roll out similar products.

Drilling products and services firm, Boart Longyear Limited (ASX: BLY) saw its shares recover by 8.4% to close at $2.20. Boart was one of the hardest hit mining services companies last year, after the company downgraded its forecasts for the 2013 and 2014 financial years. It shares lost more 70% between May and September 2012, crashing 35% in just one day, and the company sacked its chief executive.

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The Motley Fool’s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead.  This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.

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