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The AIM index pushed out briefly to levels not seen in two years this morning, buoyed by news of Joe Biden winning the US Presidential race. However a positive update on a COVID vaccine just before midday had the unusual effect of driving money out of the small cap stocks and into the blue chips. The index finished Monday up just over two points at 984.93.

  • Everyman Media up 45%
  • Escape Hunt up 39%
  • Tri-Star Resources down 58%
  • Remote Monitored Systems down 42%
  • Synairgen down 39%

Cinema operator Everyman Media [LON:EMAN] found itself at the top of the leader board on Monday, having added 45% on the day. The sector has suffered badly off the back of COVID so the fact that a vaccine may now be imminent has given investors cause for cheer. Even with the day’s 30p gain to 98p, it remains a long way back to the highs of earlier this year when shares traded above 230p.

Escape Hunt [LON:ESC] also fared well on Monday, although at least some of the upside was seen before the vaccine announcement. However with a principle that works on confined spaces and a tactile environment, again the idea that COVID-19 could soon be confined to history is clearly lending support.

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At the other end of the board, Tri-Star Resources [LON:TSTR] is the biggest faller, off 58%. The company saw its shares suspended at the end of September following a delay in publishing. Filing of a six month trading update today was however sufficient to see shares return to the market, although this was accompanied by a note to say that management plan to delist the business. This does require 75% of shareholders to accept the deal, but given the one way traffic in the market and the incredibly wide spread there appears to be little confidence over the outlook for the business.

Remote Monitored Systems [LON:RMS] also found itself in focus, shedding 42% of its value on Monday. News that Braveheart had sold down some of its recently acquired holding put the stock under a little pressure, but it was the vaccine news that hit hardest. RMS has been making moves into the anti-viral fabrics sphere, something that seems rather less important in the wake of today’s news, but arguably a field which is worthy of developing further. COVID has shown just how fallible we are…

A notable mention for Synairgen [LON:SNG], down 39%. The company saw great success earlier in the summer as developments for a possible COVID-19 therapy advanced. Shares advanced from 36p to almost 250p and in the last few weeks, an £80m fundraise was completed to support further development. Shares are now back at close to 100p but it’s worth bearing in mind the current vaccine isn’t 100% effective – and not everyone will take it. Treatments for this and other diseases will remain necessary.

Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Tony Cross

Tony Cross

Tony Cross is a market commentator with over 15 years of experience, producing compelling, insightful copy for journalists and investors alike. Focusing on macroeconomics, UK blue chip equities and inter market analysis, Cross's commentary is well regarded for its clarity and ability to cut through the waffle. He has been quoted in publications as diverse as The Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian and The Sun. He has also been a regular guest on both Share Radio and TipTV.

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