16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans, a new storm by the name of Ida is lashing the city and the whole US state of Louisiana, with wind gusts of up to 240 km/h.

Residents have evacuated en masse while some gutsy reporters are staying on-site:

Health authorities have also expressed concern about Ida casualties, given COVID-19 hospitalisations in the state are tracking at post-pandemic highs near 3,000.

On domestic shores, NSW has recorded a new daily high of COVID-19 infections, with premier Gladys Berejiklian flagging October as the worst month for hospitalisations and general pressure on the state’s health system.

While Australia’s big banks fell in morning trade, the broader market followed a strong US lead after Wall Street responded positively to the latest (highly-anticipated) policy outlook from Fed Chair Jerome Powell.

Mining stocks are on the move after iron ore prices continued to bounce off their recent lows on Friday night, while the microcap Emerging Companies index is easily outperforming the ASX 200 with a gain of almost 2% into midday trade.

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for August 30 [intraday]:

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

Among the small caps with big gains today was financial services stock BIR Financial (ASX:BIR), which has a 100% stake in corporate advisory firm Pulse Markets.

Shares in the company surged by more than 80% at the opening bell on no news, before it was quickly issued a speeding ticket by the ASX.

In response, BIR said it wasn’t aware of any information that would warrant such a sharp uplift in both trading volumes and the company’s share price.

Also rising strongly was Horizon Gold (ASX:HRN), which jumped sharply after announcing drilling results at the Howards prospect of its Gum Creek gold project.

“With broad, shallow zones of potentially open pittable gold mineralisation defined and still open in all directions, the Howards Prospect has the potential to be the core of a future Gum Creek mining hub,” managing director Leigh Ryan said.

And among the stocks with news, shares in medtech company Opyl (ASX:OPL) ripped higher after the company released its financial results this morning.

The company booked annual revenues of $1.24m, largely driven by its social media listening tools to “capture data and deliver unique market insights”, OPL said.

It also flagged development plans for its Opin.ai clinical trial recruitment platform, which is aimed at increasing the speed with which biotech companies meet their patient recruitment deadlines.

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for August 30 [intraday]:

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