ASX Hot Stocks: Newcrest, Origin and BHP

The S&P / ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has finished down 0.2% at 5,143.7 in a topsy-turvy day, with shares sliding throughout the day until the Reserve bank announced a 0.25% cut to interest rates, which saw the market rocket up, and then slide into the close.

The Australian dollar has dropped against the US dollar, now buying 101.9 cents, following the RBA’s cut to interest rates.

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

Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) jumped 6.8% to close at $17.12. Australia’s largest listed gold miner has seen its share price tumble by close to 40% over the past six months, as the gold price fell, and operational issues in some of its mines. Newcrest has announced that some of the higher cost mines could be closed and was closely reviewing others. Several analysts have suggested recently that the company is undervalued – but that depends to a large extent on your view of where the gold price is heading.

Origin Energy (ASX: ORG) rose 3% to end at $12.45. Origin has a diverse portfolio of energy assets, including a stake in the Australia Pacific LNG project, which is expected to come on stream in early 2015. The company announced yesterday that it had been unable to find a buyer for a small stake in the project, and ‘plan B’ was to sell its 530km main gas transmission pipeline associated with the project. The proceeds are likely to be used to pay down debt.

BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP) added 2.4% to finish at $33.67. Over the weekend, US president, Barack Obama stated that the US was likely to be a net gas exporter by 2020. The US is expected to approve its first liquefied natural gas terminal in Texas within months, and will likely compete against Australia’s LNG plants. BHP is well positioned with large swathes of shale oil and gas land, although it is focused on developing the liquids at the moment, with gas prices in the US falling to a third of LNG imported to Europe. BHP could easily switch its focus to gas, should prices and demand in the US rise.

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