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3 ASX stocks that smashed the market today

The S&P / ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has finished up 0.6%, closing at 5,063.4, on the back of positive earnings reports from a number of well-known companies, and despite CBA and Telstra going ex-dividend today.

The Australian dollar is trading slightly lower against the US dollar, fetching US 102.9 cents.

These three stocks were the best performers in the ASX 200, rising by more than 5%.

BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX: BSL) rocketed up $15.4%, closing at $4.35, after Australia’s biggest steelmaker posted an underlying first-half profit of $10 million, a $500 million turnaround from the previous year, when it was forced to pay redundancy and restructuring costs. CEO Paul O’Malley said this is the first time since the GFC that the company is poised to profit even if Australian steel demand remains weak.

Arrium Limited – ex-OneSteel (ASX: ARI) rose 6.8% to close at $1.26, possibly on the announcement that its chief executive of Arrium Mining Consumables, Andrew Roberts would be taking over from Geoff Plummer as managing director and CEO. Formerly a steel making business, Arrium has expanded into iron ore mining and a boost in production is expected to see Arrium become Australia’s fourth largest producer of iron ore.

Financial services provider Flexigroup Limited (ASX: FXL) climbed 5.2% to end at $4.25. The company reported a 16% increase in net profit for the first half of 2013 last week, and signalled that it is making a big push into the small business market. Many small businesses prefer to rent equipment rather than buy it outright, and Flexigroup sees an opportunity to grow its business further.

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