ASX uranium shares are broadly leaping higher again today.
And investors may have French President Emmanuel Macron to thank for the strong performance. We'll get to just how Macron may have helped boost investor sentiment for Australia's uranium stocks in a tick.
But first, here's how these five leading ASX uranium shares are tracking in afternoon trade on Monday:
- Paladin Energy Ltd (ASX: PDN) shares are up 1.6%
- Bannerman Energy Ltd (ASX: BMN) shares are up 2.2%
- Deep Yellow Limited (ASX: DYL) shares are up 5.6%
- Boss Energy Ltd (ASX: BOE) shares are down 0.6%
- Alligator Energy Ltd (ASX: AGE) shares are up 3.7%
For some context, the All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) is up 0.6% at this same time.
So, what's all this about Macron?
ASX uranium shares up amid France's nuclear push
Nuclear power was mostly off the global menu for a decade in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan. But the emissions-free power source has been steadily regaining traction over the past few years as the world looks to ween itself off fossil fuels without relinquishing reliable baseload power sources.
And that renewed interest has seen most ASX uranium shares surge higher this year.
The nuclear option has certainly garnered plenty of attention at the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP28, which is currently underway in Dubai.
When asked by an Aussie attendee at the conference about Australia's ongoing refusal to develop nuclear plants, Macron said (quoted by The Australian), "I hope that you will manage to lift the ban. Nuclear energy is a source that is necessary to succeed for carbon neutrality in 2050."
Those are the kind of words investors in ASX uranium shares want to hear.
Though it's unlikely the Labor government will take Macron's advice anytime soon.
Energy Minister Chris Bowen said it would "take decades for Australia to start from scratch" to build a meaningful level of nuclear power generation, while the nation has a huge advantage in renewables.
"Australia has a massive comparative advantage when it comes to the cheapest form of energy-firmed renewables, with more sunlight hitting our landmass than any other country," Bowen said.
Opposition lead Peter Dutton has a different take. According to Dutton:
When more than 20 countries, including some of our closest allies, signed a pledge today at COP28 in Dubai calling for a tripling of zero-emissions nuclear energy, our government was nowhere to be seen.
Regardless of what happens with nuclear regulations Down Under, a sharp upswing in global demand amid low levels of new supplies has already seen uranium trading at 15-year highs, at just over US$80 per pound, in late November.
And with the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasting that global nuclear capacity will need to double by 2050 to meet the world's emissions goals, ASX uranium shares should be well-placed to benefit.
How have Australia's uranium stocks performed in 2023?
It's been an absolutely smashing year for shareholders in Australia's uranium explorers and producers.
Here's how the five ASX uranium shares we looked at above have performed since the opening bell on 3 January:
- Paladin Energy shares have gained 60%
- Bannerman Energy shares have gained 72%
- Deep Yellow shares have gained 55%
- Boss Energy shares have gained 107%
- Alligator Energy shares have gained 40%