The early numbers are in, and policy makers are now bracing for Australia’s economy to take a huge CODIV-19-related hit in Q1.

The Treasury department expects the fallout to lop a full 0.5 percentage points off GDP in the March quarter.

And while scientists and doctors race to contain the viral outbreak, Australia’s government is gearing up to splash come cash as activity continues to slow.

Last night, Canada’s central bank made an emergency interest rate cut of 50 basis points, following the US Federal Reserve the night before.

Along with some solid US manufacturing data, stocks appeared to approve of a coordinated central bank response to the crisis as the S&P500 ripped higher by more than four per cent.

Back on the home-front, the Morrison government has ditched plans to maintain its fiscal surplus. It’s now preparing a multi-billion dollar stimulus package focused on jobs and small business (NB: a K-Rudd style, $900 consumer bonus is probably not forthcoming).

All of that has helped provide some momentum for local markets today, even though the outlook for the virus itself is still geared firmly towards fear and uncertainty rather than any semblance of containment.

The ASX200 was up 1.59 per cent to 6,426, while the Small Ords index climbed 1.72 per cent to 2,741.


Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Thursday March 5:

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FGO Flamingo AI Ltd 0.002 +100.00% $2.2M
MLS Metals Australia Ltd 0.002 +100.00% $6.4M
AAJ Aruma Resources Ltd 0.003 +50.00% $2.1M
DEG De Grey Mining Ltd 0.27 +45.95% $270.0M
HLX Helix Resources Ltd 0.012 +33.33% $5.8M
ADV Ardiden Ltd 0.004 +33.33% $7.2M
MCT Metalicity Ltd 0.004 +33.33% $2.9M
CRS Caprice Resources Ltd 0.14 +28.57% $4.4M
3DA Amaero International Ltd 0.18 +28.57% $31.5M
CGS Cogstate Ltd 0.49 +27.27% $82.6M
MLM Metallica Minerals Ltd 0.014 +27.27% $4.5M
ADO Anteotech Ltd 0.02 +26.67% $4.5M
KAI Kairos Minerals Ltd 0.01 +25.00% $10.2M
JAY Jayride Group Ltd 0.19 +23.33% $18.7M
SE1 Sensera Ltd 0.011 +22.22% $3.5M
FMS Flinders Mines Ltd 0.04 +21.21% $139.4M
IME ImExHS Ltd 0.03 +20.83% $34.1M
AGS Alliance Resources Ltd 0.12 +20.00% $18.5M
IBX Imagion Biosystems Ltd 0.03 +17.39% $13.8M
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De Grey Mining (ASX:DEG) +37%

The gold explorer continued its 2020 surge following another round of strong drilling results at the high-grade Hemi discovery in the Pilbara.

“Early drilling at Hemi has produced some of the best discovery intersections that I have seen. Drilling to date, shows exceptionally wide, continuous and good grade gold mineralisation. We have three rigs on site advancing this exciting new discovery,” exploration manager Phil Tornatora said.


Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Thursday March 5:

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MRG Murray River Organics Group Ltd 0.011 -56.50% $26.5M
RMT RMA Energy Ltd 0.001 -50.00% $2.1M
FPL Fremont Petroleum Corp Ltd 0.003 -25.00% $5.0M
MRD Mount Ridley Mines Ltd 0.002 -20.00% $5.4M
CLZ Classic Minerals Ltd 0.002 -20.00% $14.4M
NCR NuCoal Resources Ltd 0.002 -18.18% $6.9M
NSB NeuroScientific Biopharmaceuti 0.12 -14.81% $9.0M
IGN Ignite Ltd 0.01 -14.29% $1.1M
FML Focus Minerals Ltd 0.2 -12.77% $37.5M
FAU First Au Ltd 0.007 -12.50% $2.1M
ESE eSense-Lab Ltd 0.007 -12.50% $1.3M
CLT Cellnet Group Ltd 0.14 -12.12% $9.1M
CVW ClearView Wealth Ltd/Australia 0.32 -11.11% $216.3M
SCI Silver City Minerals Ltd 0.008 -11.11% $2.7M
AJJ Asian American Medical Group L 0.04 -10.87% $14.3M
VML Vital Metals Ltd 0.009 -10.00% $21.4M
ICN Icon Energy Ltd/Australia 0.009 -10.00% $5.4M
EN1 engage:BDR Ltd 0.02 -10.00% $13.9M
MEY Marenica Energy Ltd 0.05 -10.00% $6.3M
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Murray River Organics (ASX:MRG) -76%

The dried-fruit maker went into suspension back in early December, “pending the release of an announcement regarding discussions with its financier”.

After a bit of board upheaval and a $25m capital raise, the company rejoined the ASX boards today and promptly slumped by more than 70 per cent.


At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While De Grey Mining is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.