Why these 4 ASX shares are posting strong gains today

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) hasn’t been able to build on yesterday’s gain and is down 0.3% to 5,837.40 points in afternoon trade.

Four shares that have defied the market and pushed higher today are listed below. Here’s why they are posting strong gains:

The BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) share price is up 2.5% to $29.63 after fears of a global trade war subsided following President Xi’s comments at Boao on Tuesday. President Trump’s comments thereafter settled nerves. He tweeted: “Very thankful for President Xi of China’s kind words on tariffs and automobile barriers…also, his enlightenment on intellectual property and technology transfers. We will make great progress together!”

The Freedom Foods Group Ltd (ASX: FNP) share price has pushed almost 7% higher to $5.78 following the release of a positive broker note out of Citi. That note revealed that Citi has initiated coverage on the food company with a buy rating and $6.70 price target. The broker believes that Freedom Foods is capable of achieving significant margin expansion in the future. Furthermore, Citi is of the opinion that its healthy options could disrupt the fast moving consumer goods market. I would agree with Citi on this one.

The MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: MXC) share price is up 12% to 8.4 cents after the cannabis company announced that it has raised $5 million through a placement of shares at 7 cents per share. The funds raised from the oversubscribed placement will be used to establish MGC Pharmaceuticals’ medical cannabis production and cultivation facility in Malta.

The Retail Food Group Limited (ASX: RFG) share price has surged 14% higher to $1.07 despite there being no news out of the embattled food and beverage company. I suspect that short sellers could be calling time on their shorts and are buying back shares to close positions today. Whatever the cause, though, I would suggest investors stay clear of Retail Food Group.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Freedom Foods Group Limited. 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 Scott Phillips.

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