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Why these 4 ASX shares climbed higher today

In afternoon trade the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has disappointingly dropped lower following heavy declines in U.S. markets overnight. At the time of writing the index is down 0.65% to 5,793 points.

Four shares that have defied the market today are listed below. Here’s why they have climbed higher:

The AGL Energy Ltd (ASX: AGL) share price is up 2% to $21.62. The energy producer and seller has come under significant selling pressure over the last 12 months and is within a whisker of a 52-week low. I suspect that bargain hunters may be swooping in today. Especially given its status as a risk-off option.

The Cynata Therapeutics Ltd (ASX: CYP) share price is up 6% to $1.43 after the regenerative medicine company announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Cynata Orphan Drug Designation for CYP-001 for the treatment of acute graft versus host disease. This designation is given to treatments of diseases or conditions that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the USA. Once a product has been granted this designation, the sponsor or manufacturer can take advantage of special and commercially significant incentives including exclusivity, tax credits, and the waiver of FDA fees.

The Jatenergy Ltd (ASX: JAT) share price has jumped 4% to 25 cents after the fledgling infant formula company announced that it has entered into a distribution agreement with China’s Jiangsu Jbingo International Co. Ltd. The agreement will see Jbingo distribute all the company’s products, including its 51%-owned Golden Koala range of milk powders throughout China online and offline.

The MMA Offshore Ltd (ASX: MRM) share price has risen 6.5% to 24.5 cents after announcing new contract awards. According to the release, ConocoPhillips has awarded MMA a number of vessel contracts of up to 10 months duration for a multi-vessel marine spread to support drilling and shutdown operations at Bayu-Undan in the Timor Sea. In addition to this, the company has secured a one-year deal with a major independent crude oil and natural gas producer to support a development project in offshore Ivory Coast.

Looking for the next shares to climb higher? My money is on these top stocks.

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