This week's best and worst performing stocks
There seem to be two main worldwide issues that have dominated our collective rhetoric in 2023: one is alternative energy and the other is war. Interestingly, a yellow, naturally-occurring element called uranium is in the middle of both these debates.
Uranium is arguably environmentally friendly and can fuel nuclear power plants to provide cheap energy; however, as we all know, it is also the main ingredient used to make weapons of mass destruction.
But it is also making headlines right now for another reason: its price has risen to just more than $USD80 a pound, soaring from a low of $USD50 earlier this year to highs not seen since 2008.
What may not be widely known is that Uranium also plays a crucial role in various industries, such as zapping cancer cells in radiation therapy to estimating the age of rocks.
So, what is affecting the price of uranium? Nuclear proliferation, supply chain vulnerabilities and strategic resource control are current buzzwords around uranium that affect its price.
There is also the concentration of uranium production in just a few countries including Kazakhstan, Canada and Australia, which only serves to increase concerns about supply chain vulnerabilities and geopolitical tensions.
Part of the surge in price can be attributed to an increasing appetite for nuclear power to achieve 'net zero', and supply disruptions at the Cigar Lake mine, Key Lake mine, and McArthur.
The recent coup in Niger, a significant uranium producer, has also added to supply uncertainties, particularly for Western Europe.
Australia is the world's third-biggest producer of Uranium, with many ASX-listed companies involved in Uranium mining, production, and supply.
The largest include BHP, Rio Tinto and Paladin Energy, although others you may not have heard of include Boss Energy, which is focused on restarting the Honeymoon Uranium Project in South Australia. Deep Yellow is also working towards becoming a multi-mine company.
The company's Tumas and Mulga Rock projects in Namibia and Western Australia position it as a key player with significant growth potential. Silex Systems is also innovating Uranium enrichment technology in partnership with Global Laser Enrichment LLC.
As the world grapples with transitioning to cleaner energy sources, the role of uranium is becoming increasingly significant.
Whether we go down the nuclear energy path or not is still being debated, but one thing we know for sure is that Uranium will continue to make headlines.
What are the best and worst-performing sectors this week?
The best-performing sectors include Energy, Financials and Materials, as they all are just in the green for the week so far.
The worst-performing sectors include Utilities and Real Estate, which are both down more than 2%, followed by Consumer Staples, down more than 1%.
The best-performing stocks in the ASX top 100 include Bellevue Gold, up more than 8%, followed by Downer EDI and AMP, with both up more than 5%.
The worst-performing stocks include Region Group, Virgin Money and Lendlease, which are all down more than 6%.
What's next for the Australian stock market?
Earlier this week, the All Ordinaries Index was edging its way higher up around 0.5%, in what was a promising start to the week.
However, as has occurred many times this year and indeed something that has become more common in recent years, the market reversed and is currently just in the red for the week.
This suggests that market psychology is still more negative and quite nervous; however, as an educator and trader, these conditions get me excited. Most investors shy away when markets are not overly bullish.
However, this is where you can grab many bargains when the inevitable rise occurs. All too often, investors wait for strong, bullish markets and, in doing so, miss a lot of the gains.
Now is a great time to skill up and do the research to set your portfolio up. So, while we still can't confirm the down move is over, what we can do is get prepared for the next rise.
While I am more positive about our market, I am still cautious, given we need to see the All Ordinaries Index continue to rise this week and beyond. If the All Ordinaries Index closes high on Friday, I will be more positive.
That said, a fall of one to two down weeks from now will not concern too much of a concern.
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