One could argue global stocks have been fairly dismissive of the lingering health threat posed by COVID-19 over the past few months.

But the numbers don’t lie, and record daily highs for new positive cases across a number of US states has weighed on sentiment in morning trade.

Texas is shaping up as the latest epicentre, with more than 1,000 new cases recorded in what governor Greg Abbott called a “major outbreak”.

And in terms of the key variable in framing pandemic risk — whether or not the health system is becoming overwhelmed — intensive care beds at Houston hospitals are now at 97 per cent capacity.

The S&P500 fell by 2.6 per cent, which led into a rough open for local markets as the ASX200 slid down by almost 2 per cent while the Small Ords Index fell closer to 2.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, Qantas turned heads with the announcement that it will lay off 6,000 staff and look to raise $1.9bn in equity capital as part of a three-year COVID-19 strategy.

 

WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Thursday June 25:

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CODE COMPANY PRICE CHANGE MARKET CAP
NME Nex Metals Exploration 0.165 106.25% $15.4M
CLZ Classic Minerals Ltd 0.002 100.00% $9.4M
MCT Metalicity 0.025 78.57% $34.9M
MHC Manhattan 0.021 50.00% $22.5M
CAD Caeneus Minerals 0.003 50.00% $10.4M
KMT Kopore Metals 0.007 40.00% $4.5M
BLZ Blaze International Ltd 0.02 33.33% $4.2M
VRC Volt Resources 0.025 25.00% $47.5M
WWI West Wits Mining Ltd 0.015 25.00% $15.1M
RDS Redstone Resources 0.01 25.00% $4.7M
MTB Mount Burgess Mining NL 0.003 25.00% $1.0M
RBL Redbubble Ltd 1.97 25.48% $520.3M
MSR Manas Resources Ltd 0.006 20.00% $15.9M
SRI Sipa Resources Ltd 0.06 20.00% $8.5M
THR Thor Mining DRC 0.006 20.00% $4.5M
HNR Hannans 0.006 20.00% $11.9M
TSO Tesoro Resources 0.074 17.46% $32.3M
STM Sunstone Metals 0.007 16.67% $15.5M
FFG Fatfish Blockchain 0.007 16.67% $5.7M
CLA Celsius Resources 0.014 16.67% $12.0M
ARL Ardea Resources 0.295 15.69% $34.6M

 

Two more gold explorers came in top of the pops this morning, as Nex Metal Exploration (ASX:NME) and Metalicity (ASX:MCT) both ripped higher in morning trade.

The catalyst was a set of “spectacular, near-surface, high-grade drilling results” at the pair’s joint venture Kookynie project in WA’s Eastern Goldfields.

All but one of the 11 drill holes intersected significant gold mineralisation, with a top result of 4m at 16.3 grams per tonne (g/t) gold from 42m, including 3m at 20.7g/t gold.

 

LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Thursday June 25:

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CODE COMPANY PRICE CHANGE MARKET CAP
BHD Benjamin Hornigold 0.22 -69.01% $5.3M
IKW Ikwezi Mining Ltd 0.001 -50.00% $8.1M
VPR Voly Power Group 0.001 -50.00% $9.2M
ROG Red Sky Energy 0.001 -33.33% $2.4M
ESE Esense-Lab 0.012 -29.41% $2.3M
SUD Suda Pharmaceuticals 0.03 -28.57% $6.0M
NCL Netccentric Ltd 0.026 -27.78% $6.8M
SRZ Stellar Resources Ltd 0.006 -25.00% $2.7M
CE1 Calima Energy 0.004 -20.00% $10.8M
SBR Sabre Resources Ltd 0.002 -20.00% $1.7M
BMG BMG Resources Ltd 0.004 -20.00% $2.7M
FFR Firefly Resources Ltd 0.074 -17.78% $7.2M
SVA Simavita 0.014 -17.65% $9.6M
TKM Trek Metals 0.028 -17.65% $1.5M
HWK Hawkstone Mining 0.01 -16.67% $10.6M
AQC Australian Pacific Coal 0.10 -16.67% $5.1M
RDN Raiden 0.005 -16.67% $2.2M
TMX Terrain Minerals Ltd 0.005 -16.67% $3.6M
1AD Adalta 0.081 -14.74% $13.3M
SRY Story-I 0.012 -14.29% $4.4M

 

After almost two years on the sidelines, investment fund Benjamin Hornigold (ASX:BHD), which is named after an 18th-century pirate, rejoined the ASX boards and fell by around 70 per cent.

It followed a market update yesterday from the company’s board, which took control of Benjamin Hornigold last year and began the process of repatriating company funds from various investments.

The company now has $7.56m in the bank and the board said there “remains potential for the recovery of further sums”.

At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Metalicity is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.