Markets opened off the back of a big COVID-19 weekend, as panic dials got turned up nationwide about the threat of the NSW cluster.

The 11am updates from NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian have been must-watch TV. And this morning’s announcement was…pretty good.

Just 15 cases, all linked to the original Avalon cluster from over 38,000 tests state-wide.

Authorities still don’t know what the source was/is (not ideal) and plenty of Christmas travel plans have been thrown into disarray.

There was some other good news out of the US, and lawmakers finally agreed on a $US900bn COVID-19 relief bill, which will include a $US600 stimulus cheque for most US citizens.

The signing off of the bill appears to have been largely priced into markets though, with US stock futures trading close to flat on the result.

Local stocks have made a quiet start into the Christmas close, with the ASX200 down by around 0.4 per cent by midday AEDT.

WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Monday December 21:

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Code Name Price % Change Market Cap
LCY Legacy Iron Ore 0.042 56 $ 168,675,439.96
VPR Volt Power Group 0.003 50 $ 18,339,067.12
RXH Rewardle Holding Ltd 0.009 29 $ 3,684,250.42
MBK Metal Bank Ltd 0.014 27 $ 13,029,591.34
LIN Lindian Resources 0.025 25 $ 13,512,816.64
ARO Astro Resources NL 0.005 25 $ 11,982,772.05
DDT DataDot Technology 0.01 25 $ 9,934,955.73
XPE Xped Limited 0.0025 25 $ 3,585,724.05
XTC Xantippe Res Ltd 0.0025 25 $ 8,149,128.80
AMT Allegra Orthopaedics 0.38 23 $ 32,382,352.93
LCD Latitude Consolidate 0.03 20 $ 6,989,769.18
OMH OM Holdings Limited 0.575 17 $ 361,925,435.13
MTH Mithril Resources 0.021 17 $ 37,567,352.63
MRD Mount Ridley Mines 0.0035 17 $ 10,305,639.13
PNX PNX Metals Limited 0.007 17 $ 17,525,728.85
WHK Whitehawk Limited 0.285 16 $ 48,553,456.39
CPH Creso Pharma Ltd 0.185 16 $ 110,146,946.72
SHH Shree Minerals Ltd 0.023 15 $ 16,184,737.84
SEN Senetas Corporation 0.062 15 $ 58,436,055.67
CCX City Chic Collective 3.63 15 $ 724,862,464.46
CE1 Calima Energy 0.008 14 $ 15,343,567.46

Among stocks with market-moving announcements, $12m mining minnow Astro Resources (ASX:ARO) was among the leaders after an update on metallurgical test work at its heavy mineral project in WA.

Astro said a 2.6 tonne bulk sample was “readily processed” using conventional equipment, a “highly encouraging” step towards further project development.

LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Monday December 21:

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Code Name Price % Change Market Cap
GIB Gibb River Diamonds 0.087 -50 $ 37,014,152.88
CLZ Classic Min Ltd 0.0015 -25 $ 30,536,536.61
MLS Metals Australia 0.0015 -25 $ 8,381,807.15
AOA Ausmon Resorces 0.004 -20 $ 3,403,296.72
XST Xstate Resources 0.004 -20 $ 9,056,204.49
WML Woomera Mining Ltd 0.021 -19 $ 8,844,852.74
ADX ADX Energy Ltd 0.005 -17 $ 10,352,299.07
WBE Whitebark Energy 0.0025 -17 $ 12,189,376.65
PKD Parkd Ltd 0.036 -16 $ 3,231,450.00
TMX Terrain Minerals 0.011 -15 $ 9,564,893.12
FTC Fintech Chain Ltd 0.094 -15 $ 71,584,654.68
EXL Elixinol Global 0.18 -14 $ 50,619,729.09
AAJ Aruma Resources Ltd 0.006 -14 $ 11,125,897.33
DLC Delecta Limited 0.006 -14 $ 7,060,348.44
ACR Acrux Limited 0.16 -14 $ 31,233,429.20
BOA Boadicea Resources 0.205 -13 $ 14,533,750.31
KEY KEY Petroleum 0.0035 -13 $ 7,871,712.50
AHF Aust Dairy Group 0.063 -13 $ 26,747,023.68
VOL Victory Offices Ltd 0.28 -13 $ 26,176,000.00