ASX Hot Stocks: Lynas, Virgin and Karoon

The S&P / ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has finished marginally higher at 5,206.1 , a gain of just 0.1%, after running out of puff again. Earlier, the index had pushed through the 5,240 mark, but the assessment by the Reserve Bank that the economy will suffer sub-par growth this year, took the wind out if its sails.

The Australian dollar lost almost two cents against the US dollar overnight, and is currently trading a smidgen above parity at 100.7 US cents.

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

Lynas Corporation (ASX: LYC) has risen 2.3% to close at 66 cents, continuing its recovery, after hitting a low of 47 cents in April. Buoyed by the re-election of the incumbent and supportive Malaysian government, Lynas shares have been on a consistent rise since the start of this month, climbing 37% since May 3. The company has a rare earths processing plant in Malaysia, and is in the process of ramping up to peak production.

Virgin Australia Holdings (ASX: VAH) lost 4.2% to close at 45.5 cents. Co-founder and major shareholder, Sir Richard Branson announced earlier this week he was selling a 10% stake to Singapore Airlines, and kept open the possibility of selling his entire stake – at the right price of course. Three major airlines now own around 50% of Virgin, including Singapore Airlines, Etihad and Air New Zealand.

Karoon Gas Australia Limited (ASX: KAR) shares climbed more than 25% to $6.69, after the company increased the size of its latest oil discovery off the coast of Brazil in the Santos Basin. The Bilby-1 well has already found oil, but has found more as it drills deeper. The Santos Basin has yielded billions of barrels of oil in several finds in recent years, and Karoon will be hoping the oil it has found will be commercially viable.

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