As Australia moves towards reopening its economy, NSW this morning reported no new COVID-19 cases for the first time since February 29.

Queensland also reported a zero, while Victoria announced 15 new cases.

Over in the US, in the COVID-19 epicentre of New York, authorities also reported a new positive milestone, although the metric was slightly different; the state’s daily death toll came in at 161 — the first day since March that had less than 200 deaths.

As major economies now turn to the mammoth task of trying to reopen industries in an orderly manner, the risk of a second wave of infections continues to linger.

The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged, reported its first batch of new COVID-19 cases since April 3 overnight.

It all adds up to a murky outlook for stock prices, and there was a strong note of risk-off sentiment on local markets this morning.

The ASX200 was down by 1.4 per cent just after midday (EST) to 5,383.10 points. The Small Ords Index was 1.5 per cent lower at 2,427 points.

 

WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Tuesday May 12:

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CODE COMPANY PRICE % CHANGE MARKET CAP
VPR Volt Power 0.002 100.00% $9.0M
MCT Metalicity 0.004 75.00% $2.9M
VAL Valor Resources 0.002 50.00% $1.9M
NGY Nuenergy Gas Ltd 0.018 50.00% $26.7M
AGE Alligator Energy Ltd 0.005 37.50% $7.1M
TKM Trek Metals 0.017 30.77% $2.7M
PAA PharmAust Ltd 0.13 30.00% $39.3M
DLC Delecta Ltd 0.005 25.00% $3.5M
WCN White Cliff Minerals 0.006 20.00% $2.4M
POW Protean Energy 0.006 20.00% $1.9M
DXN DXN 0.013 18.18% $6.4M
KFE Kogi Iron 0.04 17.65% $31.0M
EGR Ecograf 0.067 17.54% $20.5M
WEL Winchester Energy Ltd 0.021 16.67% $14.4M
LIN Lindian Resources 0.014 16.67% $8.2M
PGI Panterra Gold 0.035 16.67% $6.8M
MRG MRG Metals Ltd 0.007 16.67% $35.3M
GMR Golden Rim 0.007 16.67% $8.6M
VGL Vista 1.47 15.81% $272.7M

 

A number of small-cap players ticked higher on no news, but among the leaders was PharmAust (ASX:PAA), which reported strong results from a phase-two clinical trial for its MPL tablets, an anti-cancer treatment for dogs.

After 14 days of treatment, the company reported “one pet dog achieved greater than 60 per cent reduction in tumour burden, with one of its tumours regressing completely”.

PharmAust said the trial provided a “strong basis for further evaluation” of the treatment, although dosing levels resulted in some dogs experiencing a loss of appetite. The phase-two trial is now on hold while an interim report is prepared.

Chief scientific officer Richard Mollard said the 60 per cent tumour reduction in one dog was a “terrific and unexpected outcome”.

“The correlation of lower MPL blood levels with superior outcomes is also a very positive trend, providing flexibility for better outcomes in a future phase three trial,” he said.

 

LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Tuesday May 12:

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CODE COMPANY PRICE % CHANGE MARKET CAP
FGO Flamingo 0.001 -33.33% $1.1M
ROG Red Sky Energy 0.001 -33.33% $1.6M
JPR Jupiter Energy 0.027 -30.77% $6.0M
EQE Equus Mining Ltd 0.006 -25.00% $11.3M
DVL dorsaVi Ltd 0.02 -23.08% $6.0M
EPM Eclipse Metals Ltd 0.007 -22.22% $11.9M
EXL Elixinol Global 0.378 -20.53% $65.5M
BPL Broken Hill Prospecting Ltd 0.015 -21.05% $4.8M
CTO Citigold Corporation 0.004 -20.00% $12.1M
NWC New World Resources 0.012 -20.00% $14.8M
IBG Ironbark Zinc Ltd 0.008 -20.00% $9.2M
ARE Argonaut Resources N L 0.004 -10.00% $9.8M
CCA Change Financial 0.076 -15.56% $9.3M
ACB A-Cap Energy 0.012 -14.29% $12.2M
DW8 Digital Wine Ventures 0.006 -14.29% $8.1M
CWZ Cashwerkz 0.12 -14.29% $22.4M
NTI Neurotech Intl 0.006 -14.29% $1.5M
LCL Los Cerros 0.048 -12.73% $12.8M
LPD Lepidico 0.007 -12.50% $37.0M
PWN Parkway Minerals 0.007 -12.50% $13.5M