Australia could be first in line for a new COVID-19 vaccine that promises to stop 96 per cent of COVID-19 infections and 100 per cent of serious illness related to the novovirus.

Canberra has ordered 51 million doses of the Novavax inoculation which has been developed in the UK, although it has yet to receive a tick from people who approve such things in Australia.

The Novavax jab has proved to be particularly effective against the UK variant of COVID-19, which sparked lockdowns after escaping from Melbourne’s quarantine system.

Australia is currently rolling out the AstraZeneca and Pfizer versions of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the Novavax jab is seen as another weapon in Australia’s armoury.

The government has an ambitious target of offering COVID-19 vaccines to most Australian adults before the end of the year.

To date only 700,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have arrived in Australia from Europe, and lower than the expected 3.8 million doses, reports the Daily Mail.

Around 125,000 Australians, mostly working in the healthcare, border control and aged care sectors, have received one of the COVID-19 vaccines.

 

To markets:

At lunchtime in Sydney, the ASX All Ordinaries index had pushed through 7,000 points, to achieve a 1 per cent gain, and stood at 7,022 points.

US stock indexes rallied overnight as the S&P 500 put on 1 per cent to 3,939 points. The NASDAQ gained 2.5 per cent to 13,399 points, while the Dow Jones added 189 points to 32,486.

All-time highs were seen in the S&P 500 and Dow Jones indexes overnight, as US President Joe Biden signed into law a $US1.9 trillion economic support package that includes $US1,400 payments to individuals.

The price of gold in US dollars was $US5 higher at $US1,728 per ounce ($2,215/ounce).

Ten-year bond rates traded sideways Friday, with the US yield at 1.54 per cent and Australia’s at 1.73 per cent.

 

WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Friday March 12:

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

Stocks highlighted in yellow made market moving announcements

 

Best performer was digital healthcare company Oneview which scored a $1m investment and exposure deal from StocksDigital.

The cash is nice. But — more importantly — the deal should increase awareness of the company among the wider investing community.

StocksDigital aims to build a “high conviction, high performing” ASX small-cap investment portfolio and share their research with their readers who co-invest alongside them, via their investor focused websites.

The share subscription was priced at 6 cents per share — a 18.9 per cent discount to its traded price this week.

Oneview said the deal was timely as it is poised to launch its Cloud product service in Australia and the US.

Telehealth company ResApp Health (ASX:RAP) jumped after announcing a one-year licensing deal with AstraZeneca for its cough counting technology to support asthma patients.

ResApp Health’s cough counting technology will be integrated into AstraZeneca’s asthma management smartphone app that allows for patient remote monitoring.

AstraZeneca is trialing the cough counting app in a lung cancer study and the pharmaceutical company will pay ResApp an annual licence fee for each patient using the technology.

“Over one million people in Japan live with asthma and AstraZeneca’s app aims to help patients better manage their condition and adhere to their management plans, leading to a better quality of life,” ResApp Health managing director and chief executive, Dr Tony Keating, said.

Shares in Canberra Casino operator Aquis Entertainment (ASX:AQS) popped again on the release of its 2020 annual report which confirmed a profit for the period of $798,200.

Revenue for the gaming, entertainment and leisure company dipped to $18.9m for the 2020 year compared with $24.8m for the 2019 year.

 

LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Friday March 12:

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

Stocks highlighted in yellow made market moving announcements

 

Heavy faller in early Friday trade was Fitzroy River (ASX:FZR) which completes a 1 for 4 share offer on Tuesday priced at 12 cents per share to raise $2.6m.

The company holds royalty agreements for oil and gas production in WA’s Canning Basin operated by oil company Buru Energy (ASX:BRU).

A total of 21.6 million new shares will be issued under the entitlement offer to institutional and retail investors bringing the company’s total issued shares to 107.9 million.

The share offer was priced at a 27 per cent discount to Fitzroy River’s February 16 share price and its proceeds will be used to repay debt.

Southern Cross Media Group’s (ASX:SXL) share price tumbled nearly 20 per cent after TV company Nine Entertainment declined to renew a regional TV contract.

The media company has broadcast Nine’s free-to-air TV content to regional markets in Queensland, NSW and Victoria since mid-2016, and its current contract expires in June.

Southern Cross Media will continue its program agreements with Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) for Tasmania, Darwin, and Spencer Gulf markets through to mid-2022.