4 shares jumping on the ASX today

It was yet another disappointing day on the ASX today, with the S&P/ASX 300 (Index: ^AXKO) (ASX: XKO) falling 1.2% and ending the week down 4.2%. Year-to-date, the index is down 10%.

Yet again, it was the giant banks and resources companies dragging the market down, but some sectors and companies still managed to post strong gains. The gold sector soared more than 2% as the spot gold price rose 4% to US$1,246 an ounce (A$1,755 equivalent) and a number of small and medium gold producers saw double-digit gains.

Here are 4 companies from the ASX 200 that posted big gains today…

BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX: BSL) saw its share price rocket up 14.2% to $5.00, after the steel producer announced an upgrade to its forecast earnings guidance, as colleague Tim Dohrmann detailed earlier today. Bluescope’s share price has almost doubled since falling as low as $2.70 in June 2015, but the easy gains appear to be gone. It almost appears incredible that the company’s share price was once above $50 (adjusted for share consolidation) in 2007, before the global financial crisis made a mess of things.

Independence Group NL (ASX: IGO) saw its share price soar 9.1% to $2.87, despite no news from the diversified miner with nickel, zinc and copper mines. However, Independence also has a stake in the Tropicana gold mine, which had all-in sustaining costs (AISC) of just below A$800 an ounce last quarter. Given the current gold price, Independence is making a decent margin, ~$955 an ounce – a likely reason the share price jumped today.

AWE Limited (ASX: AWE) saw its share price gain 5.3% to $0.40, but shares in the oil producer are still down 20% since the start of this year, and despite the company announcing the sale of its 10% interest in the Sugarloaf US Shale Project for $271 million in late January 2016. AWE stated at the time it would use the proceed to repay all its debt and result in a net cash position of $60 million. In good news for AWE, the Brent Crude Oil benchmark price is up 4.9% today, after falling overnight.

Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) saw its share price rise 5.3% to $3.77. One of the star gold producers on the ASX, Northern Star’s share price hit an all-time high of $4.00 in early trading thanks to the spot gold price action. The savvy miner has picked up a number of gold mining assets on the cheap over the past 18 months, as some of its larger rivals looked to exit the space at any cost. In the last quarter, Northern Star had AISC of $1,040 an ounce and is forecasting production of above 535,000 ounces for the 2016 financial year.

As the ASX falls into an official bear market, some experts are predicting a market crash...

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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