All eyes were on Federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg this morning, who confirmed what pretty much everyone expected; buffering a $1.9 trillion economy from the effects of a global pandemic is expensive business.

After eyeing off an FY20 surplus of $5bn in February, the government will now chalk up an $84bn deficit (increasing to a WWII-level $184bn in FY21).

National unemployment is expected to spike above nine per cent and economic growth will tank.

But as far as markets are concerned, everyone already knew that — it’s all about what the future holds. And while governments are ponying up the cash (see: Tuesday’s extension to JobKeeper and the Eurozone spending package), the future still looks pretty good, for now.

The ASX200 opened strongly but slipped back slightly into midday trade to be close to flat for the session, while the Small Ords was around 0.6 per cent higher at 2,707.

That followed a solid session on Wall Street, with earnings beats by Tesla and Microsoft offsetting ongoing corona fears and a bizarre twist in the US-China feud.

SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Thursday July 23:

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

CODE COMPANY PRICE CHANGE MARKET CAP
TKL Traka Resources Ltd 0.037 270.00% $4.0M
TPD Talon Petroleum Ltd 0.003 200.00% $1.8M
CGS CogState Ltd 0.8 90.48% $71.5M
PNN Pepinnini Minerals Ltd 0.0015 50.00% $1.6M
QFY Quantify Tech 0.0015 50.00% $2.0M
MAN Mandrake Resources 0.044 25.71% $9.3M
MRR Minrex Resources 0.03 25.00% $5.0M
EN1 Engage:BDR 0.01 25.00% $8.9M
DRO DroneShield 0.14 21.74% $29.0M
ODA Orcoda 0.14 21.74% $13.3M
3DP Pointerra 0.2 21.21% $109.4M
TNT Tesserent 0.158 21.15% $66.6M
GML Gateway Mining Ltd 0.023 21.05% $31.8M
BRK Brookside Energy 0.006 20.00% $5.0M
CTO Citigold Corporation 0.006 20.00% $13.0M
LCY Legacy Iron Ore 0.006 20.00% $31.2M
CGB Cann Global 0.006 20.00% $17.0M
RBR RBR Group 0.006 20.00% $4.4M
EFE Eastern Iron Ltd 0.006 20.00% $2.0M
LOM Lucapa Diamond Co Ltd 0.066 20.00% $35.3M
SXA Strata-X Energy 0.069 16.95% $6.6M

 

Traka Resources (ASX:TKL) was the big winner in morning trade, as markets approved of its pivot away from lithium and towards gold.

The company announced a swap with Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY), which will see it hand over rights to the lithium pegmatite minerals contained within its 20 per cent interest in the North tenements at Mt Cattlin near the south coast of WA.

In exchange, it will get the rights the explore for gold in the tenement area at Mt Cattlin, which previously had a long history of gold mining and exploration before it became a lithium hub.

Also posting a triple-digit percentage increase in morning trade was energy minnow Talon Petroleum Ltd (ASX:TPD) – market cap: $1.8m — after announcing a $5m share placement priced at 0.2 cents — a 33 per cent premium to its 30-day weighted average share price.

The funds will be used to finance a farm-in agreement for a 45 per cent participating interest in EP447, which is located in the onshore Perth Basin and operated by Strike Energy (ASX:STX). As part of the agreement, TPD will incur costs to drill an exploration well on the Walyering Prospect.

SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Thursday July 23:

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

CODE COMPANY PRICE CHANGE MARKET CAP
FPL Fremont Petroleum 0.003 -25.00% $6.4M
XTC Xantippe Resources 0.002 -20.00% $8.0M
SMD Syndicated Metals Ltd 0.008 -20.00% $67.7M
EMD Emerald Clinics 0.04 -18.00% $7.5M
CAN Cann Group 0.515 -17.60% $72.8M
RHY Rhythm Biosciences 0.087 -17.14% $8.8M
AVW Avira Energy 0.005 -16.67% $6.9M
NTL New Talisman Gold 0.005 -16.67% $16.8M
DAV Davenport Resources 0.039 -15.22% $8.6M
ADX Adx Energy Ltd 0.006 -14.29% $12.0M
YPB YPB Group Ltd 0.006 -14.29% $13.3M
VAL Valor Resources 0.003 -14.29% $5.8M
HNR Hannans Reward Ltd 0.007 -12.50% $16.0M
FEL Fe Ltd 0.014 -12.50% $7.8M
LCT Living Cell Technologies 0.015 -11.76% $9.7M
TZL TZ 0.046 -11.54% $4.8M
TDY Thedocyard 0.2 -11.36% $32.1M
NWF Newfield Resources Ltd 0.175 -10.26% $113.4M
GO2 GO2 People 0.04 -10.00% $5.7M
NTI Neurotech Intl 0.009 -10.00% $2.2M