Prices for base metal prices – nickel, lead, zinc, tin, copper — mostly rose on Wednesday after US lawmakers approved that mammoth US$1 trillion infrastructure bill.

(Ever wondered what one trillion dollars looks like? Here you go.)

Both gold and iron ore – which have suffered heavy falls over the past few weeks – also mounted a comeback overnight.

The gold futures price rose by US$21.60 an ounce or 1.2% to U$1,753.30 an ounce, while iron ore rose by US$4.00 a tonne or 2.5% to US$166.20 a tonne “as investors weighed potential economic policies to help growth against a push to curb steel production”, CommSec says.

The gains for gold followed a fall in bond yields and some weakness in the US dollar, after data showed US core inflation rose less than expected in July — lending weight to the argument that inflationary forces may prove transitory.

Most sectors and stocks tied to economic growth had a good day on Wall Street, led by machinery manufacturer Caterpillar (+3.6%), construction materials supplier Vulcan Materials (+3.2%) and steelmaker Nucor (+3.9%).

On the ASX today we saw much the same. At the big end of town, the ASX 200 traded flat as small gains for energy stocks were offset by slight dips in resources and banking.

At the small end, the microcap Emerging Markets index followed yesterday’s 1.4% rally with another steady gain of around 0.5%.
 

WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks in morning trade for Thursday, August 12:

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

Among companies with news, gains were led by tech this morning as textile technology company Alexium (ASX:AJX) jumped by more than 30%.

The company flagged strong sales for its BioCool mattress technology, and expressed optimism it can gain further traction in the US market.

Also rising strongly was air traffic control software company Adacel Technologies (ASX:ADA), which tripled its profit before tax from $2.2 million to $7.7 million and more than doubled its cash at hand to $11.5 million.

In resources, Sunstone Metals Ltd (ASX:STM) led the pack after announcing it had intersected a copper mineralised porphyry system at its El Palmar project in Ecuador with its first drill hole, which is now ~350m deep.

Check Reuben Adams’ daily summary for all the key price action in small cap resources.
 

LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks in morning trade for Thursday, August 12:

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