Sydney is still in lockdown and ‘Fortress Australia’ is still in full effect, but M&A news this morning suggests that big infrastructure investors are banking on the long-term return to pre-COVID travel patterns.

Listed large cap Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD) received an unsolicited takeover offer this morning which saw it shares climb more than 30%.

Across the sector, travel stocks outperformed the broader market this morning with steady gains in well-known travel outlook barometers such as Webjet (ASX:WEB) and Flight Centre (ASX:FLT).

Elsewhere, the ASX200 has made a steady if unspectacular start to the week with a gain of around 0.2% into midday trade.

It follows on from a strong session on Wall Street to end the week, after US jobs data showed a slight uptick the unemployment rate.

That helped ease market fears in some corners that the US Fed will be forced to tighten policy even quicker than currently expected, which in turn helped provide a boost for the big tech names.

However, local stocks were unable to pick up on that momentum with the big banks among today’s losers.

Gold pushed back towards $US1,800 an ounce after the US dollar fell in the wake of Friday’s employment data, while brent crude oil continues to hold above $US75/barrel.

WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks in morning trade for Monday, July 5:

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

Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD) made a rare large-cap appearance on this morning’s winner’s list, after a global consortium of infrastructure groups and super funds lobbed a $22bn takeover bid to take it private this morning.

The bid valued the company at $8.25 per share — a 42% premium to its Friday closing price. In response, SYD’s board noted that $8.25 is still below the price it traded at before the pandemic, and advised shareholders to take no action.

While SYD shares jumped sharply this morning the stock is trading at around $7.50, well below the $8.25 offer price.

Among the junior explorers, Ragusa Minerals (ASX:RAS) was the pick of the bunch this morning after coming out of a trading halt and flagging two acquisitions.

RAS said it has Heads of Agreement to acquire the Monte Cristo gold project in Alaska, and the exploration licences for a halloysite project at Burracoppin in WA.

And as FY21 reporting season gets underway, security/risk management firm AVA Risk Group (ASX:AVA) rose strongly after upgrading its full-year revenue forecasts this morning.

LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks in morning trade for Monday, July 5:

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