The ASX is tracking sideways in Thursday trade, where the big story was a monster February jobs print shortly before midday EST.

Data from the ABS showed the economy added 88,700 jobs last month, smashing expectations of 30,000.

In addition, the unemployment rate dropped sharply to just 5.8 per cent (forecast: 6.3pc) — a figure achieved even with no change in the participation rate (the amount of people looking for jobs).

The total amount of hours worked also jumped sharply, a possible indicator that Australia’s jobs market has established real momentum in the last month before JobKeeper subsidies are wound back.

The Aussie dollar jumped sharply in response to the news, climbing back above US78c while longer-dated bond yields also rose.

Global markets were relatively calm overnight, as the US Fed communicated that it remains committed to keeping rates at rock-bottom until at least 2024.

While it expects inflation forces to remain muted, the Fed is now much more optimistic about the US economy which it expects to grow by 6.5 per cent this year — up from its 4.2pc forecast in December.
 

WINNERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Thursday March 18:

Swipe or scroll to reveal the full table. Click headings to sort.

Indoor Skydive Australia Group (ASX:IDZ) led the pack, after announcing it had secured a debt restructure with its current lenders.

As part of the agreement, IDZ secured a $4m facility from Causeway Financial, which it will use to pay off a $2.6m loan from Westpac. The deal will see Westpac write off $5.6m in debt, thus freeing IDZ up from some of its loan constraints.

Shares in IDZ more than doubled in morning trade. The company is no stranger to huge intraday moves, including a 500pc surge last year after announcing it was opening its first standalone virtual reality themed venue.
 

LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Thursday March 18:

Swipe or scroll to reveal the full table. Click headings to sort.