The market for WTI crude oil remains one of high drama.

May futures contracts were deemed worthless on Monday, but early trading for June contracts were less volatile with WTI crude initially priced at around $US21 ($33) a barrel.

But in global markets overnight, traders promptly smashed the price of WTI crude scheduled for June delivery as well. Prices briefly fell below $US10, before rallying back to around $US13/bbl.

With large swathes of society holed up at home, oil demand has collapsed. And it’s led some commentators to speculate whether oil marks the early onset of significant deflationary (in this case, the D-word) forces for policymakers to grapple with in the months ahead.

It adds another wrinkle to what is already an impossible macroeconomic puzzle for investors to put together.

In that environment, local stocks got off to another cautious start today, initially falling by another 2 per cent before finding support.

The ASX200 was down by 0.8 per cent heading into midday trade, on track for its third straight fall. It was slightly more volatile on the Small Ords Index, which fell 1 per cent.

US stock futures were flat, while gold was holding steady just shy of $US1,700 an ounce (~$2,680/oz). Iron ore prices came off overnight, with spot prices for benchmark 62 per cent fines falling 3.5 per cent to $US84.37/t.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Wednesday April 22:

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JPR Jupiter Energy 0.006 200.00% $920K
CAD Caeneus Minerals 0.002 50.00% $2.7M
MGT Magnetite Mines 0.003 50.00% $2.9M
BAS Bass Strait Oil Co Ltd 0.002 50.00% $5.0M
CE1 Calima Energy 0.004 33.33% $8.6M
HT8 Harris Technology 0.049 22.50% $9.3M
SP3 Spectur 0.054 20.00% $4.1M
SGI Stealth Global 0.06 17.65% $7.4M
NXE New Energy Minerals 0.007 16.67% $1.2M
SVD Scandivanadium 0.007 16.67% $1.3M
MTC Metalstech 0.175 16.67% $20.6M
LBT LBT Innovations Ltd 0.115 15.00% $27.1M
A1G African Gold Ltd 0.115 15.00% $6.7M
MRZ Mont Royal Resources 0.17 13.33% $6.4M
RML Resolution Minerals Ltd 0.13 13.04% $23.6M
FIJ Fiji Kava 0.053 12.77% $4.5M
ARV Artemis Resources 0.027 12.50% $24.7M
NVO Nvoi 0.009 12.50% $12.0M
CYG Coventry Group 0.55 12.24% $44.0M
EUR European Lithium 0.046 12.20% $26.0M
PTX Prescient Therapeutics Ltd 0.039 11.43% $13.8M
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There weren’t many ASX small-caps that made it onto today’s winner’s list based on a market-moving announcement.

However, while the COVID-19 pandemic is creating a tough environment for clinical trials, cancer-fighter Prescient Therapeutics (ASX:PTX) climbed by more than 10 per cent in morning trade after announcing positive results from the phase 1b study of its PTX-100 treatment.

Now the initial dose level has been proven safe with the first cohort of patients, PTX will move to the next dose level of 1,000mg/m2.



Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Wednesday April 22:

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TMK Tamaska Oil and Gas Ltd 0.004 -33.33% $3.6M
OEX Oilex 0.002 -33.33% $6.9M
NAE New Age Exploration Ltd 0.002 -33.33% $1.8M
ICG Inca Minerals Ltd 0.001 -33.33% $4.1M
CDT Castle Minerals Ltd 0.006 -25.00% $1.4M
GLL Galilee Energy Ltd 0.495 -25.00% $135.7M
IBG Ironbark Zinc Ltd 0.006 -25.00% $5.5M
STM Sunstone Metals 0.006 -25.00% $8.3M
PUA Pure Alumina 0.01 -23.08% $2.2M
CUL Cullen Resources 0.007 -22.22% $1.6M
QFY Quantify Tech 0.002 -20.00% $3.9M
TMX Terrain Minerals Ltd 0.004 -20.00% $2.9M
TRT Todd River Resources 0.013 -18.75% $3.2M
FEL Fe Ltd 0.009 -18.18% $4.4M
RNT RENT.COM.AU Ltd 0.032 -17.95% $9.7M
NVU Nanoveu 0.057 -17.39% $7.6M
LCK Leigh Creek Energy 0.096 -16.52% $55.7M
ALK Alkane Resources 0.69 -16.36% $403.1M
ONX Orminex 0.052 -16.13% $28.0M
ATU Atrum Coal 0.235 -16.07% $110.0M
EX1 Exopharm 0.21 -16.00% $20.0M
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