ASX markets have posted a solid gain to start the week, as big miners rip higher in the wake of another iron ore price surge.

Prices for iron ore jumped by more than 10 per cent in Asian trade on Monday morning — a big intraday gain which has left it trading above $US220 a tonne.

BHP (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) both posted strong gains, while Fortescue (ASX:FMG) rose by more than six per cent in morning trade.

There were also more gains in the big banks, which left the ASX200 on track for its best day since April 8 with a gain of around one per cent.

And shares in Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) rose sharply, amid talks of a possible merger with fellow casino operator Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR).

Elsewhere, NAB’s business survey surged to new all-time highs in April, gold is still holding comfortably above $US,1800/oz while the Aussie dollar is pushing back towards US80c ahead of the federal budget on Tuesday night.
 

WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks to 11:30am on Monday, May 10

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

Among stocks with announcements, gains were led by junior explorer Prospech Ltd (ASX:PRS) after it announced some silver hits at its Zemplin prospect in Slovakia.

Prospech also said the first two holes of its four-hole drill program are “high up” in the mineralised system, “indicating a well preserved mineralised package and therefore potential for precious metals at depth”.

Reuben Adams has the full resources wrap here.

Outside of mining and energy, medical equipment company Paragon Care (ASX:PGC) was the biggest gainer after announcing a successful renegotiation of its lending facilities with NAB.

PGC said the new deal will lead to annual savings of refinancing costs of around $575,000, and forms part of a broader cost-cutting strategy which is now “delivering over $7m in annualised savings”, the company said.
 

LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks to 11:30am on Monday, May 10

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