2018 was a lot of things, but it won’t go down as a year of certainty and stability.

Trade wars, government shutdowns, Brexit, leadership spills, you name it, it affected global markets.

And the small end of town wasn’t immune: at one point in October it got so dire that the ASX Small Ords lost all of the gains it made in the year prior within the space of a few days.

But as January nears its end, we thought it was a good time to take a look at market movements since that ever-joyful time, Christmas.

There’s good news. The Small Ords index, which was sitting in the doldrums at 2,371 points at Christmastime, has hit highs of 2,582.3 points in the past week, a 9 per cent turnaround.

And the ASX 200 and All Ordinaries have also seen 9 per cent rises, the former reaching highs of 5,911.8 points and the latter faring even better at 5,975.6 points.

The ASX Small Ords since Christmas. Chart: Commsec

Berkeley Energia (ASX:BKY) is the biggest winner, up 189 per cent thanks to reports it could become a top 10 uranium producer.

The company also released its quarterly report yesterday, which showed it is well stocked with nearly $100 million cash in the bank.

Both Golden Cross (ASX:GCR) and Redbank Copper (ASX:RCP) have enjoyed big post-Christmas runs, up 186 and 185 per cent respectively despite little news.

Eon NRG (ASX:E2E) is also up 100 per cent. It had to answer a speeding ticket from the ASX in mid-Jan, and also experienced a 400 per cent run in a day last year after a sales revenue bounce.

Chris Robertson, director at Arthur Austin Advisory, preaches caution when it comes to investing on the back of big movement..

“On what planet does an announcement cause that amount of movement,” Mr Robertson says.

The experts: why it’s happened and what to watch for

“It’s been a bit of a relief rally and it’s been well and truly appreciated,” says Lee IaFraté, founding chairman of Armytage Private.

“Jerome Powell [chair of the US Federal Reserve] saying there is unlikely to be any further interest rate rises has also helped, underpinning equity markets and stabilising things.

Mr IaFraté says an impending end to the US-China trade war would help ease uncertainty.

“There’s enough momentum around that suggest that the trade war is hopefully coming to a conclusion, you never know with the idiot [Donald Trump], but he is now in an election phase so he will want to be seen to be winning,” he says.

“If there is an agreement that will certainly give the market more strength.”

Martin Duriska, analyst at Canary Capital, says progress in trade talks will give the market certainty at a critical time.

“We’re at a very important point and February is going to be crucial, because it’s reporting season in the US, and if companies start delivering then there will be rewards,” he says.

“February will set the direction and the tone for the rest of the year.”

Mr Robertson is more circumspect, believing that trade wars, uncertainty and volatility will continue.

“January has brought a bit of optimism back into the market,” he says. “But my personal view is that we are not out of the woods yet.

He also says that “cheap can get cheaper pretty quickly” regarding small caps.

“In bull markets people tend to forget pragmatic advice,” he says. “I wouldn’t be chasing [share price] performance and piling in. Look at the business fundamentals and look for substance.”

Below is a table of the biggest winners and losers since Christmas. Click headings to sort

ASX code Company Last price 1-month return Market cap
BKY BERKELEY ENERGIA LTD 0.505 189 $106.4m
GCR GOLDEN CROSS RESOURCES LTD 0.06 186 $6.1m
RCP REDBANK COPPER LTD 0.057 185 $6.7m
DDT DATADOT TECHNOLOGY LTD 0.004 150 $4.1m
IHR INTELLIHR HOLDINGS LTD 0.2 117 $21.1m
SCN SCORPION MINERALS LTD 0.021 110 $3.7m
LKO LAKES OIL NL 0.001 100 $67.5m
KLH KALIA LTD 0.004 100 $10.1m
MRD MOUNT RIDLEY MINES LTD 0.003 100 $6.1m
E2E EON NRG LTD 0.016 100 $6.5m
VPR VOLT POWER GROUP LTD 0.002 100 $16.5m
PRL PETREL ENERGY LTD 0.004 100 $12.1m
SVT SERVTECH GLOBAL HOLDINGS LTD 0.014 89 $3.6m
EN1 ENGAGE:BDR LTD 0.045 85 $10.7m
QTM QUANTUM HEALTH GROUP LTD 0.025 79 $27.5m
SPQ SUPERIOR RESOURCES LTD 0.007 75 $4.8m
KGM KALNORTH GOLD MINES LTD 0.007 75 $6.3m
YPB YPB GROUP LTD 0.019 73 $15.2m
TML TIMAH RESOURCES LTD 0.031 72 $2.9m
MDI MIDDLE ISLAND RESOURCES LTD 0.006 71 $8.4m
BKT BLACK ROCK MINING LTD 0.058 71 $32.3m
MRG MURRAY RIVER ORGANICS GROUP 0.125 67 $54.2m
MCM MC MINING LTD 1.19 66 $164.1m
GSW GETSWIFT LTD 0.58 66 $109.3m
AQS AQUIS ENTERTAINMENT LTD 0.048 66 $8.9m
RVA REVA MEDICAL INC - CDI 0.24 66 $99.6m
RMP RED EMPEROR RESOURCES NL 0.076 64 $38.9m
LHB LIONHUB GROUP LTD 0.007 -30 $5.8m
SUH SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE MINING 0.031 -31 $2.7m
VKA VIKING MINES LTD 0.011 -33 $3.8m
OGX ORINOCO GOLD LTD 0.006 -33 $7.8m
RNY RNY PROPERTY TRUST 0.004 -33 $1.1m
NIU NIUMINCO GROUP LTD 0.001 -33 $2.8m
DDD 3D RESOURCES LTD 0.002 -33 $1.9m
LRS LATIN RESOURCES LTD 0.0025 -33 $5.7m
CLZ CLASSIC MINERALS LTD 0.002 -33 $5.4m
SRO SHAREROOT LTD 0.002 -33 $3.1m
BAU BAUXITE RESOURCES LTD 0.037 -34 $7.9m
VBS VECTUS BIOSYSTEMS LTD 0.39 -35 $9.0m
AHN ATHENA RESOURCES LTD 0.013 -35 $3.5m
MZI MZI RESOURCES LTD 0.024 -35 $7.1m
SBB SUNBRIDGE GROUP LTD 0.011 -35 $5.2m
AEB AFFINITY ENERGY AND HEALTH L 0.009 -36 $8.8m
1AG ALTERRA LTD 0.033 -37 $4.3m
EUC EUROPEAN COBALT LTD 0.024 -38 $19.0m
AMB AMBITION GROUP LTD 0.07 -39 $4.7m
CMC CHINA MAGNESIUM CORP LTD 0.018 -40 $6.3m
AU1 AGENCY GROUP AUSTRALIA LTD 0.15 -44 $15.6m
EGY ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES LTD 0.005 -44 $1.7m
BEE BROO LTD 0.024 -47 $15.5m
IKW IKWEZI MINING LTD 0.001 -50 $4.1m
MAR MALACHITE RESOURCES LTD 0.001 -50 $1.4m
CLY CLANCY EXPLORATION LTD 0.001 -50 $3.5m
PCHDC PROPERTY CONNECT HOLDINGS 0.001 -67 $460.7k