After yesterday’s 2.1% drop, a negative session on Wall Street overnight and a sharp drop in futures this morning, you’d be forgiven for expecting another horror day on the ASX — but it hasn’t been too bad.

Shortly after 12pm EST, the ASX 200 had crept into the green while the microcap ASX Emerging Companies Index was only down 0.20%, despite falling by as much as 1.9% in the opening minutes of trading.

And two of yesterday’s worst sectors, energy and resources, are both up over 2% although utilities — which was yesterday’s only positive sector — fell nearly 1.5%.

Global equities are navigating multiple headwinds including the historic fall in iron ore prices, the potential collapse of Chinese developer Evergrande, and speculation around the pace of policy-tightening by the US Federal Reserve.

Heading into midday trade, all eyes were on the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong (which opens at 11:30am EST and is the home of Evergrande, among other big name stocks).

The Hang Seng also opened sharply lower, but then rallied back into positive territory. Shares in Evergrande fell again but Hong Kong listed gaming stocks (which have also been the target of Chinese regulators) bounced back sharply.

Also at 11:30am EST the minutes from the RBA’s September meeting were released.

Although the meeting was a fortnight ago, the minutes noted pandemic support by federal and state governments in Australia would be one of the key factors supporting recovery.

And once again it stated no rise for interest rates until inflation was in its target range and this was unlikely before 2024.

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for Tuesday September 21 [intraday]:

Stocks highlighted in yellow made market-moving announcements.

Comet Resources (ASX:CRL) rose after telling shareholders material produced from its Springdale graphite project performed exceptionally well in benchmark testing.

Microcap oil play Bass Oil (ASX:BAS) told shareholders it received approval from the South Australian government for its acquisition of oil assets in the Cooper Basin.

BNK Bank (ASX:BNK) rose after hinting at some M&A activity. Specifically it told shareholders it received interest and was going to undertake a strategic review.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks for Tuesday September 21 [intraday]:

Stocks highlighted in yellow made market-moving announcements.