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Why Freedom Foods, St Barbara, Virgin Australia, & Wattle Health shares surged higher

In afternoon trade the S&P/ASX 200 index is on course to start the week on a very disappointing note. At the time of writing the benchmark index is down 1.2% to 6,122.3 points.

Four shares that have defied the market selloff and pushed higher are listed below. Here’s why they have surged higher:

The Freedom Foods Group Ltd (ASX: FNP) share price is up almost 5.5% to $4.51 after the food company responded to recent media speculation. According to the response, the company notes speculation regarding the company’s potential involvement in an acquisition of the Lion Dairy and Drinks Portfolio. However, it advised it is not pursuing a bid for the portfolio and is focused on “delivering on its unique capabilities and opportunities across Dairy Beverages and Nutritionals, Plant Based Beverages and Specialty Cereals and Snack.”

The St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) share price is up 2% to $3.36. This morning Goldman Sachs upgraded the gold miner’s shares to a buy rating with a $3.90 price target. Its analysts believe that Friday’s selloff was overdone and has created a buying opportunity. In addition to this, the market selloff has led to investors quickly rotating back to risk-off assets today. The S&P/ASX All Ords Gold index is up 2.2% at the time of writing.

The Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd (ASX: VAH) share price has pushed over 2.5% higher to $1.90. The airline operator was given a boost on Friday when oil prices tumbled lower. The good news for fuel guzzlers like Virgin Australia is that the decline has continued in Asian trade. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is down a further 1.1% to US$58.39 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price is down 0.9% to US$66.41 a barrel.

The Wattle Health Australia Ltd (ASX: WHA) share price has climbed almost 4% to 84 cents after the small cap food company announced that it has secured access to organic A2 fresh milk supply. According to the release, Wattle Health and its joint venture partners have signed a variation to the Supply Agreement with Organic Dairy Farmers of Australia to provide for the first ever commercial quantity of organic A2 fresh milk to be processed into organic A2 nutritional dairy powder.

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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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