ASX Hot stocks: Fortescue, Qantas and Lend Lease

ASX surges 0.7%, despite weak leads from offshore

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The S&P / ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has closed up 0.7%, at 4,825.9, after mounting a comeback from earlier heavy falls and jumping at the close. Again it was the big banks doing the heavy lifting, while resources stocks fell. No surprise then that the financial sector was the best performer, while utilities and consumer staples also saw decent gains.

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

Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) lost 2.7% to close at $3.25, as shares in the iron ore miner continue to slide. Back in February, Fortescue was trading above $5, as the iron ore price rose to more than US$150 a tonne. Iron ore has slipped since then, dropping to US$110 a tonne, but is up slightly to US$114 a tonne. With Fortescue being a pure iron ore play, further falls in the iron ore price could see the company forced into unwanted action, such as asset sales, or cutting back its expansion program.

Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN) gained 2.6% to end at $1.40, with media reports suggesting that China Southern was considering buying a 10-15% stake in the Flying Kangaroo earlier this year. Chinese airlines are growing rapidly and plan to ramp up flights to Australia. Qantas recently expanded its code share agreement with China Eastern, which included a co-investment in Jetstar Hong Kong. China is now Australia’s second-largest source of foreign visitors, behind New Zealand.

Lend Lease Limited (ASX:LLC) fell 7.5%, to close at $8.65, after the property and infrastructure developer and manager announced that it was restructuring its Australian construction and infrastructure business. Lend Lease also announced that it will incur substantial restructuring costs this financial year, as it battles weak construction markets, both in Australia and Europe. While the company said that its expected earnings would be in-line with market forecasts, it seems investors weren’t having a bar of it.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.

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