ASX tech shares have had their returns levelled this year as investor confidence retracts and liquidity dries up. It only takes a glance at the S&P/ASX All Technology Index (ASX: XTX) to quantify the extent of the damage — down 40% year-to-date.
The disastrous tech sector performance carried over into Friday as the market descended a further 1.8%. In turn, investors are looking at a hellacious 6.7% fall in the benchmark index over one short trading week.
However, one ASX tech share defied the odds to secure an eight-year high today.
Shares in Silex Systems Ltd (ASX: SLX) finished Friday 5.8% higher at $2.01. If you haven’t heard of the company before, you’d be forgiven. At a market capitalisation of $407.4 million and a relatively obscure business, the company isn’t exactly a household name.
Yet, the lack of public notoriety hasn’t stopped the Silex share price from skyrocketing over the past month. Outstripping many of its ASX tech share peers, the company has ascended more than 50% during the month gone by.
Silex Systems is a research and development company specifically focused on various applications of its own laser enrichment technology. One of those applications is the enrichment of uranium for use in nuclear energy power generation.
Given the lack of price-sensitive announcements this month, it seems possible that the heightened interest in this ASX tech share could be due to the evolving energy crisis hitting Australia. Despite the country never having a nuclear power station, interest in the alternative source has been renewed by runaway prices in electricity and gas markets.
The two major political parties are in opposition with each other over the idea of pursuing nuclear energy. However, with energy bills set to soar, the public interest in a potentially cheaper energy source is rampant.
On 2 June, Silex announced it had executed a non-binding letter of intent between its joint venture partner and Constellation Energy Generation LLC. Notably, Constellation is the largest producer of carbon-free energy in the United States, operating 23 nuclear power stations.
Investors in this ASX tech share will no doubt be watching how the energy crisis develops with a keen eye.
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