Local stocks have opened the week in positive territory, following a bullish lead from US markets on Friday night.

Steady gains for the big banks and miners underpinned sentiment, with no major catalysts in early Asian trade.

That lack of volatility played second-fiddle to some more action on crypto markets, where Elon Musk made a cryptic two-step in his delicate dance with Bitcoin evangelicals.

After Tesla’s financials revealed US$1.5bn of Bitcoin holdings in January, Musk hinted that he might just have sold all of it — a move which sent BTC tumbling towards $US45k with sharp falls across most of the major altcoins.

Elsewhere on traditional markets, gold continues to push further above US$1,800 an ounce while oil remains well supported, with benchmark Brent crude climbing back towards the US$70/barrel mark — a level it last reached on March 15.
 

WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks to 11:30am on Monday, May 17

Swipe or scroll to reveal the full table. Click headings to sort.

Leading the pack again was junior iron ore play Mindax Ltd (ASX:MDX), which still had some proverbial embers burning following its insane re-listing.

After a two-year hiatus the stock returned to the ASX boards, just after its China-owned JV partner got FIRB approval to invest in MDX’s magnetite iron ore project in WA’s Yilgarn province.

Shares in MDX doubled at the opening bell this morning, after its stock initially went haywire on Friday with an intraday gain of as much as 6,000%.

Among stocks with news, gains were led by Great Northern Minerals (ASX:GNM) which announced some high-grade gold hits from a reverse circulation grilling program at its Camel Creek project in Queensland.

More broadly, the morning winners were again largely skewed to resources and energy with the exception of Anteotech (ASX:ADO) which announced it has signed a manufacturing contract for its COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test (ART)1 with Spain-based company Operon.
 

LOSERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks to 11:30am on Monday, May 17

Swipe or scroll to reveal the full table. Click headings to sort.

Leading the laggards was Infinity Lithium (ASX:INF), which announced that the investigation permit application at its San José lithium project in Spain has been cancelled.

INF said it strongly disputes the decision and based on legal advice, has launched an appeal to have it overturned.