The Roman Catholic church may be the last place you’d expect to find a Christmas grinch.

However, reports out of Italy indicate Bishop Antonio Staglianò has no time for Santa Claus.

At an event last week, Staglianò broke the news to a group of children that Santa is indeed fake. And in addition, his famous red suit is actually just a marketing scheme for Coca Cola.

Parents were reportedly not amused at Staglianò’s preference to issue an early dose of cold hard reality for the youngsters in attendance.

On markets, the ASX traded flat into midday on Tuesday, as local stocks trod water following falls on Wall Street overnight.

Across sectors, there were no standout winners, with few obvious catalysts in Asian trade as markets gear up for the US Federal Reserve’s policy announcement which is scheduled for Wednesday night.

Crypto markets are under pressure, with Bitcoin falling below US$46,000 amid a ~10% decline across the sector over the last 24 hours.

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for December 14 [intraday]:

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There was a moonshot in resources, as Quantum Graphite (ASX:QGL) surged by more than 200%.

The gains accompanied QGL’s reinstatement to the ASX boards late yesterday. The company says it’s the only producer of coarse flake graphite in Australia, where it operates the historical Uley mine in SA.

Elsewhere, fertility company Virtus Health (ASX:VRT) posted solid gains after advising that it’s in the sights of one of Australia’s largest private equity players, BGH Capital.

BGH, which already owns a 9.99% stake in Virtus, lobbed a takeover bid this morning where it valued the company at $7.10 a share.

Among stock with news, another morning winner was the Bevan Slattery-backed geospatial imaging company Pointerra (ASX:3DP), which flagged a number of new contract wins in the US market led by a deal with US energy utility Entergy that’s expected to generate revenues of $3.29m to $5.56m.

Medical device company PolyNovo (ASX:PNV) also rose in the wake of some good news out of the US, where it’s beefing up its sales team and reported monthly sales in November of US$1.97m, just off July’s record high of US$1.97m.

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for December 14 [intraday]:

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

After completing a capital raising, Altura Mining (ASX:AJM) also rejoined the ASX boards this morning and fell by more than 70% from its last traded price.