Small caps had the Monday blues, with their worst intra-day result in two weeks.

The Small Ordinaries index of 200 small-cap companies on Monday finished down 49.2 points, or 1.57 per cent, to 3,084.4.

It was the Small Ords’ worst single-day performance since December 22 and left the index at its lowest level since December 23.

The ASX200 dropped 0.9 per cent to 6,697.2, with every sector in the red except utilities, which were flat, and energy, which gained 0.7 per cent as US crude prices rose.

Tech was biggest loser, dropping 2.2 per cent as Xero (ASX:XRO) retreated 4.7 per cent to $135.93.

The Emerging Companies index of nano-cap companies fell 1.1 per cent to 2,005.7, its first loss for the year.

Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA) was the biggest gainer, rising 64.3 per cent to 2.3c after Piedmont Lithium (ASX:PLL) paid $US12 million ($15.5 million) to acquire a 19.9 per cent stake in the Canada-focused lithium explorer.

Elsewhere on the ASX:


Castillo Copper (ASX:CCZ) soared 47.7 per cent to 6.5c after announcing it had made a major copper discovery at its high-grade Big One deposit in northwest Queensland.

Total Brain (ASX:TTB) rose 20.3 per cent to 35.5c after the mental health self-monitoring platform said it had grown its annual recurring revenue by 46 per cent in 2020, to $4 million. The company said the public health and political turmoil of last year had increased awareness of the importance of mental health, resulting in a strong pipeline of opportunities across Total Brain’s corporate, affinity and clinical markets.

ResApp (ASX:RAP) fell 1.3 per cent to 7.8c after appointing a former GlaxoSmithCline executive, Mike Connell, as vice president, commercial.

Neuren Pharmaceuticals (ASX:NEU) dropped 5.8 per cent to $1.38 despite the Melbourne biotech announcing the European Commission had granted it three Orphan designations for its drug candidate NNZ-2951 in three rare childhood disorders. Neuren plans to commence phase 2 trials this year for the conditions.

Splitit (ASX:SPT) rose 8.9 per cent to $1.41 after the buy now, pay later company announced it was partnering with Google in Japan, to let Japanese consumers buy its new Pixel 5 mobile phones and other products while paying in installments.

CV Check (ASX:CV1) gained 5.7 per cent to 18.5c after the screening and verification company announced it was cashflow positive in the second quarter with $3.5 million in revenue, up 12 per cent from a year ago.

Family Zone Cyber Safety (ASX:FZO) dropped 5.9 per cent to 48c after the cyber safety company announced it had contracted 425 new schools in the December quarter, up 143 per cent year-on-year. The West Perth company said it had exceeded internal targets in all regions, but didn’t disclose anything about growth in annual recurring revenue, which it said it would release later.

Trading halts


Celsius Resources (ASX:CLA) – mineral resource estimate
Helix Resources (ASX:HLX) – response to ASX price query
PolarX (ASX:PXX) – announcement of proposed acquisition of exploration project


Vulcan Energy Resources (ASX:VUL) – pre-feasibility study (ASX:PIN) – proposed delisting
Maximus (ASX:MXR) – drilling results