ASX Hot Stocks: Lynas, Karoon and Mirabela Nickel

The S&P / ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has finished up 0.5% at 5,156.2 after briefly crossing the 5,200 level, before running out of puff. Our index followed the lead from Wall Street, where the Dow Jones rose 1%, and the S&P 500 gained 1.1%, on the back of strong US jobs data.

The Australian dollar has moved slightly higher against the US dollar, now buying 102.8 cents.

Here’s why these three stocks are hot right now.

Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX: LYC) rose 16% to end at 58 cents, after Prime Minister Najob Razak’s party won the Malaysian election to return to power. Lynas has faced heated opposition to its rare earths processing plant in Malaysia – which the Opposition had vowed during the election campaign to review and potentially shut down. Mr Razak’s government has largely supported the plant, which suggests the plant is now relatively ‘safe’ from political threats.

Karoon Gas Australia Limited (ASX: KAR) climbed 23% to end at $4.89, after the company announced that the second out of the three wells it has drilled offshore Brazil had struck oil. The prolific Santos Basin in Brazil has already yielded some significant oil finds, and Karoon could potentially be sitting on billions of barrels of oil.  We don’t yet know how much oil there is or if it’s commercially viable, but at least hitting oil is a good sign.

Mirabela Nickel Limited (ASX: MBN) surged a massive 50% to close at 16.5 cents, despite no announcement from the company. The price rise may have something to do with a presentation the company gave on Friday, in which Mirabela reported that it significantly reduced production costs, had off-take agreements for 100% of its production until the end of 2014, and had US$140m of cash on its balance sheet (Equivalent to its current market cap). Still, the company also has  US$463m of debt and production has fallen in the last three quarters.

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