Small caps have closed higher – but a day that started with a strong rally has faded to a middling performance.

The Small Ordinaries gained 53.9 points, or 1.75 per cent, in the first hour of trade, putting the index of Australia’s 101st to 300th biggest companies on track for its best performance since November 9.

But the gains faded steadily after lunchtime and the index finished up just 16.8 points, or 0.55 per cent, to 3,088.5.

It was much the same story for the ASX200, which seemed set for a strong day after a rally Friday on Wall Street.

In early tradem, the XJO was up as much as 124.8 points, or 1.86 per cent, but it similarly lost puff in the afternoon as US futures began to predict losses tonight at Wall Street. The ASX200 finished up just 28.8 points, or 0.43 per cent,.

The Emerging Companies nano-cap index was essentially flat, falling half a point, or 0.03 per cent.

Sectors were mixed, with tech stocks collectively falling 1.1 per cent and materials gaining 1.7 per cent. Industrials, health care and property also lost ground, while the other sectors advanced.

Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) dumped 6.7 per cent to $8.92, while Afterpay (ASX:APT) fell 3.6 per cent to $111.20

Small-cap news

Reece Pharmaceuticals (ASX:RCE) gained 4.1 per cent to $1.02 after the anti-infection pharmaceutical company dual-listed on the Frankfurst Stock Exchange, under the code R9Q.

Anson Resources (ASX:ASN) soared 26.9 per cent to 8.5c after announcing positive test results from its battery solutions project in Nova Scotia, Canada. Lithium quality there exceeds that commercially available for the use in high-performance lithium-ion batteries, the company said.

Limeade (ASX:LME) fell 4.2 per cent to an all-time low of 92c, following the employee experience company releasing underwhelming full-year results last month.

Talga Group (ASX:TLG) gained 4.9 per cent to $1.275 after the battery anode and graphene company announced that its Talcoat graphene additive for marine coatings had reached a key milestone, weathering a year of commercial sea trials after being applied to sections of the hull of a 33,000-tonne cargo ship in late 2019. A photo released by the company showed corrosion marks in a section of the hull that wasn’t coated with Talcoat, while the coated section was unscathed.

Trading halts

Sacgasco (ASX:SGC) – drilling update
Xstate (ASX:XST) – drilling update
Ironbark Zinc (ASX:IBG) – capital raising
Matador Mining (ASX:MZZ) – court orders

Orcoda (ASX:ODA) – capital raising
Orion Metals (ASX:ORM) – sale of tenements
Nuheara (ASX:NUH) – regulatory medical device establishment process
Peel Mining (ASX:PEX) – capital raising
Aston Minerals (ASX:ASO) – drilling results
Alice Queen (ASX:AQX) – acquisition