On Tuesday, Russia became the first country to approve a coronavirus vaccine for mass production — but don’t get excited just yet.

It seems like great news as the number of COVID-19 infections climbs past 20 million worldwide. Even President Vladimir Putin’s daughter has already been inoculated, allegedly.

Mass production could kick off in October, they say.

But experts are sceptical of this ‘fast tracked’ vaccine, which has only been studied in dozens of people, over a relatively short period.

Russian scientists also haven’t published any info about how the vaccine performs in animal tests or in early-stage human studies.

By comparison, vaccines entering final-stage phase-three testing — the only way to prove if an experimental vaccine is safe and really works — usually require studies of 30,000 people each over many months.

Stockhead reported in April that at best, Australia could see a vaccine being available for the whole population in mid-2022.

In July, more than 24 other new vaccine candidates were in human trials around the world.

Another seven repurposed vaccines, such as the tuberculosis BCG vaccine, are also undergoing trials to check whether they work on COVID-19.

The Milken Institute estimates that, overall, there are more than 180 vaccine projects underway around the world.

 

In Markets …

Dodgy or not, European share markets rose yesterday on the news of the Russia-approved vaccine for COVID-19.

Wall Street was also up in early trade, before losing momentum later in the day.

And the gold futures price fell by $US93.40 or 4.6 per cent — the most in seven years — to US$1,946.30 an ounce.

To the local bourse – and the ASX started the day well before dipping into the red, with the benchmark ASX200 down 0.25 per cent to 6,123.6 points at 11:30am AEST.

 

SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Wednesday August 12:

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CODE COMPANY PRICE CHANGE MARKET CAP
MTB Mount Burgess Mining NL 0.002 100.00% $1.2M
MNB Minbos Resources Ltd 0.002 100.00% $5.7M
GLV Global Oil & Gas 0.02 63.64% $4.7M
CLZ Classic Minerals Ltd 0.003 50.00% $19.8M
BEE Broo 0.024 41.18% $12.1M
TPD Talon Petroleum Ltd 0.004 33.33% $6.7M
WBE Whitebark Energy 0.004 33.33% $12.1M
TMG Trigg Mining 0.14 27.27% $9.6M
WOA Wide Open Agriculture 0.77 19.38% $64.1M
CGB Cann Global 0.006 20.00% $23.2M
VKA Viking Mines Ltd 0.013 18.18% $4.1M
EPM Eclipse Metals Ltd 0.007 16.67% $9.9M
CE1 Calima Energy 0.007 16.67% $15.2M
XF1 Xref 0.18 16.13% $34.1M
VEE VEEM 0.52 15.56% $67.6M
BKY Berkeley Energy 0.56 14.29% $144.8M
ANA Ansila Energy NL 0.026 13.04% $13.2M
LNY Laneway Resources Ltd 0.009 12.50% $34.0M
ROO Roots Sustainable Agricultural DRC 0.019 11.76% $3.1M

Minnow Global Oil & Gas (ASX:GLV) has an exclusive option to buy 20 per cent of WA oil and gas player Goshawk Energy, which holds a dominant landholding in the proven onshore Canning Basin.

Aussie beer company Broo (ASX:BEE) has inked a contract brewing agreement with major brewer CUB for the production of Broo Premium Lager and Australia Draught.

VEEM (ASX:VEE), which makes hi-tech components for luxury yachts, has received $US2m worth of new orders – bringing its current order book up to $US4.2m.

Uranium player Berkeley Energia (ASX:BKY) has received the land use permit needed for construction works at its divisive Salamanca mine in Spain – “a significant permitting milestone for Berkeley and a positive step in the development of the project”, it says.

And iron ore explorer Macarthur Minerals (ASX:MIO) has announced a resource upgrade for the Moonshine magnetite deposit at Lake Giles project in WA.

 

SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Wednesday August 12:

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CODE COMPANY PRICE CHANGE MARKET CAP
DRE Dreadnought Resources 0.012 -25.00% $22.9M
MGT Magnetite Mines 0.008 -20.00% $18.0M
MLS Metals Australia 0.002 -20.00% $8.0M
DHR Dark Horse Resources 0.002 -20.00% $8.1M
VAL Valor Resources 0.004 -20.00% $9.6M
KEY Key Petroleum Ltd 0.005 -16.67% $11.8M
SHK Stonehorse Energy 0.005 -16.67% $3.3M
ONE Oneview Healthcare 0.054 -15.63% $11.1M
BEM BlackEarth Minerals 0.039 -15.22% $4.4M
CYG Coventry Resources 0.045 -15.09% $59.3M
FAU First Au 0.02 -15.00% $6.8M
HLX Helix Resources 0.017 -15.00% $13.5M
CUL Cullen Resources 0.017 -15.00% $5.1M
LIT Lithium Australia 0.058 -14.71% $34.5M
ARR American Rare Earths 0.035 -14.63% $10.2M
8IH 8I Holdings Ltd 0.12 -14.29% $43.6M
RNX Renegade Exploration 0.006 -14.29% $4.3M
CTO Citigold Corporation 0.013 -13.33% $33.8M