October Winners Column: The ASX returned to growth and coal, steel, hydrogen and tech all benefited
Despite a hefty drop last Friday, October was a positive month for the ASX.
The ASX 200 gained 1.9% – a figure that would’ve been 3.7% but for the sell-off on Friday, October 29.
The COVID vaccine roll-out in Australia continued, going from 27.7 million doses given to 35.6 million.
At the start of the month New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT were still in lockdown but have now exited. And Victoria and New South Wales are even now allowing quarantine-free international travel.
Of course if you want the hotel quarantine experience you could still go to Queensland or WA.
In the broader financial markets, New Zealand became the first country to lift interest rates and our big banks now think the RBA will act next year.
Elon Musk took a break from cryptos to do a deal with Hertz for the latter to buy 100,000 Teslas. And investors have pondered just what to call the FAANG stocks now in light of Facebook’s name change to Meta.
This author has a preference for this suggestion – albeit one that unlike many others require a name change from another tech giant.
Now if Apple can change its name to Omega, we can call them the MANGO stocks.
— Vijar Kohli (@VijarKohli) October 28, 2021
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The top stock, with an 819% gain, was Jade Gas (ASX:JGH). This company, once known as High Grade Metals, changed its name, recapitalised and focused on a Mongolian coal bed methane project.
It is not the only energy company focused on that region of the world to be a multi-bagger in a short space of time.
The project area is surrounded by Elixir Energy’s (ASX:EXR) Nomgon IX CBM project where drilling has intersected multiple coals despite not defining a resource. Elixir is up 117% this year.
Jupiter Energy (ASX:JPR) meanwhile is focused on neighbouring Kyrgyzstan and several times in the past couple of years has jumped despite having little news.
Last month’s winner, ViaGold Rare Earths Resources (ASX:VIA), made second spot with a 376% gain.
In third spot is Korvest (ASX:KOV) with a 215% gain. This South Australian industrial company specialises in the galvanisation of steel.
It shares went on a run in the middle of the month when it gave a trading update. As long as there are no more COVID-19 shutdowns it is expecting its profit for the first half of FY21 to exceed $8 million.
There were a higher number of tech winners on the ASX than usual in October.
Prophecy International (ASX:PRO) topped the lot, never looking back since signing health insurer Humana (NYSE:HUM) as a client for its analytics platform.
Playside (ASX:PLY), one of the few ASX stocks in the esports space, climbed as it capped off a solid quarter, completing its first acquisition and recording revenues of $4 million – a figure that has more than doubled in 12 months.
And DigitalX (ASX:DCC), one of the few ASX stocks to offer exposure to the crypto space, rose in conjunction with the rise in Bitcoin.
This company is primarily a reg-tech company but has direct holding in Bitcoin and offers crypto-related funds management services.
Hydrogen continued to be a hot space for investors with Sparc Technologies (ASX:SPN) jumping after sealing a research partnership with multiple South Australian universities to progress an ‘ultra green hydrogen’ technology.
Two players already in the hydrogen space jumped too. Global Energy Ventures’(ASX:GEV) obtained approval in principle for a pilot-scale, 43t capacity compressed hydrogen ship.
And Lion Energy (ASX:LIO) used the government’s announcement it will boost investment in the Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs program to tell shareholders it would be an earlier mover in that space.
In health there were only two companies on the ASX October winners list.
The first is oncology biotech Invion (ASX:IVX) which on October 28 reported solid pre-clinical study results.
It said studies had shown “complete regression of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) in vivo (on mice)” following application of the company’s INV043 treatment.
The other was medtech ImpediMed (ASX:IPD), which has technology that can monitor fluid status and tissue composition.
It too rose off the back of clinical study data and capped off the month with a $35m capital raising.