The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has started the week very strongly. In afternoon trade, the benchmark index is up 1% to 7,224.5 points.
Four ASX shares that are rising more than most today are listed below. Here's why they are charging higher:
Appen Ltd (ASX: APX)
The Appen share price is up 16% to $2.84. This is despite there being no news out of the artificial intelligence (AI) data services provider. However, given how AI stocks are booming on Wall Street, this seems to have given Appen's beaten down shares a boost. In addition, a reasonably positive broker note out of Wilsons appears to have helped matters. It has lifted its rating to market-weight with an improved price target of $2.54. The broker believes Appen has assembled an impressive executive team.
Leo Lithium Ltd (ASX: LLL)
The Leo Lithium share price is up 16% to 84.2 cents. Investors have been buying the lithium developer's shares after it announced a strategic placement and cooperation agreement with Ganfeng Lithium. This will see Ganfeng pay $106.1 million for 131 million new Leo Lithium shares. This equates to a price of 81 cents per share, which is almost 12% higher than Friday's closing price.
Select Harvests Ltd (ASX: SHV)
The Select Harvests share price is up 8% to $4.71. This morning, the almond producer reported a half-year net loss after tax of $96.2 million. This was driven by material impacts from La Nina weather patterns affecting the 2022 and 2023 crops and the resultant write-off of goodwill. Management is looking ahead and advised that it has already identified a series of value accretive projects that will deliver improvements in profit and cash.
Smartpay Holdings Ltd (ASX: SMP)
The Smartpay share price is up 7% to $1.60. This follows the release of the payments company's full-year results this morning. Smartpay reported a 62% increase in revenue to NZ$48.1 million and a profit after tax of NZ$8.5 million. The latter was up from NZ$2.2 million a year earlier.