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3 of the best penny stocks to buy in October

Concerns over climbing Covid-19 infection rates across large parts of the globe has naturally spooked investors. But many UK shares have been unjustly sold off as concerns over the pandemic worsen, one of which is penny stock Abingdon Health (LSE: ABDX).

This company — whose stock recently fell to its cheapest price in around a month — makes coronavirus testing equipment. Therefore demand for its product will actually benefit from a long battle against Covid-19.

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Abingdon launched its antibody BioSURE Covid-19 IgG Antibody Self Test in late August to help in the battle against the virus. And, earlier this month, it rolled out a score-card accessory to its AbC-19 test which helps scientists study antibody response and immunity.

A word of caution however. Abingdon operates in a massively competitive arena and is a relative tiddler compared to many other Covid-19 test makers. And, of course, sales of its product will fall hard if a breakthrough in the final fight against coronavirus happens.

A lower-risk penny stock

I still think Abingdon’s a top penny stock for me to buy, though Assura (LSE: AGR) might be more attractive due to its lower risk profile. This UK share doesn’t operate in the highly-competitive medical product arena. Nor does it have to endure the threat of failed drugs development, a constant problem for medicine manufacturers.

No, this low-cost stock builds, acquires and operates primary healthcare properties across the country. This gives it excellent defensive qualities as medical centres are essential at all points of the economic cycle. In fact, I expect demand for the properties Assura specialises in to steadily increase as Britain’s elderly population balloons.

I reckon this is a great penny stock to buy and hold for years, despite the risks created by its acquisition-driven growth strategy. Assura’s healthy appetite for asset purchases puts it peril of overpaying for an asset that ultimately underdelivers and creates large unexpected costs.

Engineer terrific returns

Van Elle Holdings (LSE: VANL) is another cheap UK share I think could deliver titanic long-term returns. As a provider in ground engineering services, it’s well-placed to ride the British construction boom of the next 10 years.

This penny stock provides a spectrum of technical services for the highways, rail, power, and utility sectors. It can therefore expect demand for its expertise to rise as infrastructure spending in Britain picks up. Van Elle also provides an array of ground services for housebuilders, meaning it should benefit a ramping up in home creation too. The government has plans to create 300,000 new homes per year by 2025.

It’s true that Van Elle could suffer if the UK economic recovery shudders to a halt. In this scenario, custom from the commercial and industrial sectors could sink. But as someone who looks to buy shares with a long-term view, I still think this penny stock has plenty to offer.

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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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