Why these 4 ASX shares started the week with strong gains

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has had a good start to the week and in afternoon trade is 0.6% higher to 5,737 points.

Four shares which have started the week with strong gains are listed below. Here’s why they are higher:

The Ardent Leisure Group (ASX: AAD) share price is up 2.5% to $2.09 following the release of its monthly theme parks trading update. According to the release, visitation was down 30.5% and unaudited revenues were $4.4 million, down 35.3% versus the prior corresponding period. This was a notable improvement on last month and possibly a sign that its turnaround plans are working.

The Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX: GXY) share price is up 7% to $2.25. The lithium miner’s shares have been on a tear in the last five trading sessions and risen a massive 36% thanks to better-than-expect production at its Mt Cattlin project. Even after its strong run, I still feel Galaxy is one of the best options in the resources sector.

The Kidman Resources Ltd (ASX: KDR) share price is up 19% to 73.7 cents after the lithium miner revealed that the court has ruled in its favour over an Earl Grey lithium rights challenge. This is great news in my opinion and I can’t say I’m surprised to see its shares rocket higher today.

The QBE Insurance Group Ltd (ASX: QBE) share price is up 3% to $12.30 despite there being no news out of the insurance giant. But with its shares down sharply last month, I wouldn’t be surprised if bargain hunters were swooping in today. Whilst it isn’t my first preference in the insurance sector, at the current share price it could be worth a look.

Top 3 ASX Blue Chips To Buy In 2017

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The Motley Fool's in-house analyst team has poured over thousands of hours worth of proprietary research to bring you the names of "The Motley Fool's Top 3 Blue Chip Stocks for 2017."

Each one pays a fully franked dividend. Each one has not only grown its profits, but has also grown its dividend. One increased it by a whopping 33%, while another trades on a grossed up (fully franked) dividend yield of almost 7%.

The names of these Top 3 ASX Blue Chips are included in this specially prepared free report. But you will have to hurry. Depending on demand - and how quickly the share prices of these companies moves - we may be forced to remove this report.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Galaxy Resources Limited. 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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