This week there have been continuing signs of optimism in UK stocks, with the FTSE All Share drifting higher to chalk up a 12% gain for the month of April. It’s a welcome move after the collapse that rattled through shares in February and March.

But of course, there’s a long way back for world economies; plenty of bad news could well await. Betting that markets have properly priced-in the impact of a massive economic and social shock would be brave to say the least. There’s so much still unknown.

That said, it’s not unreasonable to take a view that more and more equities will start to recover from here, and some already have. While many companies have seen their earnings outlooks vaporise, others have suffered far less. In some cases it’s impossible to make accurate valuations, but in others there’s light in the tunnel, even if it’s a year or so out. For now, it seems like this sense of optimism is starting to get traction and lift the market.

But in the immediate aftermath of coronavirus there are some interesting trends to pull out of the market. Especially when it comes to those stocks that are leading the price action.

In more normal times, on any given day, the strongest risers are often found among small and micro-cap stocks. These are the ones where relatively small moves translate into big percentages. They’re often news-driven, and they often pull back just as quickly.

But over the past three months, the much maligned micro-cap biotech, gold and tech stocks have been market-beaters. The top five are below, but generally the top 50 best performing shares over the past three months have been what we’d term small and highly speculative. These are the lottery ticket-type investments that, statistically speaking, usually lose but pay off handsomely on occasion.

Name

Mkt Cap £m

Relative Price Strength 3m

Relative Price Strength 1y

Forecast Yield %

Stock Rank

Industry Group

Synairgen

83.7

+653.5

+424

-

17

Biotech

Catenae Innovation

4.42

+624.5

-19.9

-

1

Software

Genedrive

41.1

+616.3

+548.1

-

20

Healthcare

Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals

36.8

+519.2

+472.7

-

11

Biotech

Avacta

193.6

+444.6

+324.3

-

29

Biotech

The coronavirus pandemic has played a hand here. The biggest riser - Synairgen - is associated with a possible treatment, so no surprise that its shares have rocketed.

Against Stockopedia’s market-wide StockRanks classifications - which score shares based on…

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