Australia got a key update on the economic impact of COVID-19 this morning, with the release of April jobs data.

All eyes were on April after March figures were little-changed (mainly because the numbers were gathered in the first two weeks of the month).

The post-corona result? Pretty ugly. Total job losses came in at 594,300, slightly above the 575,000 fall expected. And almost three million Aussies either lost their jobs or had their hours reduced.

(For perspective, there were 5,900 jobs added in March, and monthly results show the economy usually adds jobs, rather than loses them.)

Australia’s unemployment rate is now 6.2 per cent. That was below forecasts of a sharp rise to 8.2 per cent, but the result was masked by an equally sharp decline in the participation rate (defined as the sum of people working and looking for work, as a percentage of the population).

In other words, almost 500,000 people left the labour force entirely, which saw the participation rate fall to 63.5 per cent — the lowest level in 15 years.

For currency traders, the jobs figure missed expectations, as the Aussie dollar declined against all the major trading pairs.

And local stocks continued to drift lower, after getting off to a slow start this morning following a 1.75 per cent fall on the S&P500.

The ASX200 was down one per cent heading into midday trade at 5,367, while the Small Ords Index was 0.6 per cent lower at 2,413.


Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Thursday May 14:

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Code Company Price % Change Market Cap
CCE Carnegie Clean 0.002 100.00% $22.2M
SSG Shaver Shop 0.595 38.37% $54.4M
VRC Volt Resources 0.011 37.50% $13.9M
CZL Consolidated Zinc 0.004 33.33% $5.2M
DDD 3D Resources Ltd 0.003 25.00% $6.3M
EAX Energy Action 0.13 23.81% $2.7M
RDS Redstone Resources 0.006 20.00% $2.4M
AMD Arrow Minerals 0.006 20.00% $5.8M
PGY Pilot Energy 0.019 18.75% $1.5M
GML Gateway Mining Ltd 0.013 18.18% $17.4M
CYG Coventry Resources 0.02 17.65% $48.5M
TON Triton Minerals 0.055 17.02% $63.5M
NOX Noxopharm 0.22 18.92% $32.7M
EMT Emetals 0.015 15.38% $5.7M
FFL Founders First 0.265 15.22% $32.8M
ANA Ansila Energy NL 0.008 14.29% $4.1M
BNR Bulletin Resources Ltd 0.059 13.46% $10.8M
MRG Murray River Organics 0.018 12.50% $39.7M
RMP Red Emperor Resources 0.009 12.50% $4.7M
FFG Fatfish Internet Group Ltd 0.009 12.50% $7.3M
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Among the winners this morning was retail platform Shaver Shop (ASX:SSG), after it advised the market that COVID-19 has actually been pretty good for business.

The seller of personal grooming products flagged a 32 per cent increase in sales, with a 50 per cent decline in foot traffic at its store network offset by a 387 per cent surge in online sales between April 1 and May 10.


Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Thursday May 14:

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

Code Company Price % Change Market Cap
ANL Amani Gold 0.001 -50.00% $6.8M
ID8 Identitii 0.11 -40.86% $8.1M
PCL Pancontinental Oil&Gas 0.001 -33.33% $8.1M
LRS Latin Resources Ltd 0.003 -25.00% $1.1M
CLZ Classic Minerals Ltd 0.002 -25.00% $8.2M
MAY Melbana Energy 0.004 -20.00% $9.3M
DLC Delecta Ltd 0.004 -20.00% $2.8M
FPL Fremont Petroleum 0.004 -20.00% $8.3M
GED Golden Deeps Ltd 0.007 -16.67% $2.0M
POW Protean Energy 0.005 -16.67% $1.6M
CE1 Calima Energy 0.005 -16.67% $10.8M
EXL Elixinol Global 0.233 -13.89% $44.4M
NWR Norwest Energy NL 0.003 -14.29% $14.2M
CHK Cohiba Minerals Ltd 0.006 -14.29% $4.7M
BIQ BuildingIQ Inc 0.006 -14.29% $2.6M
SCL Schrole 0.015 -14.29% $15.2M
DW8 Digital Wine Ventures 0.006 -14.29% $8.1M
VR1 Vection Technologies 0.021 -12.50% $19.7M
CLA Celsius Resources 0.008 -11.11% $6.8M
NVO Nvoi 0.008 -11.11% $13.5M
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Shares in fintech platform Identitii (ASX:ID8) fell sharply, after the company rejoined the ASX boards and announced the completion of a $1.9m capital raise.

The funds were raised via the issuance of 27,259,400 shares at seven cents per share, a steep discount to ID8’s previous trading price of 29.5 cents.