It’s getting spooky on the ASX, where a steady start to morning trade had turned into a capitulation by midday.

The ASX 200 has now broken through the 6,900 support level with an intraday loss of more than 2%.

Elsewhere (in outer space), Aussie scientists got a fright when they noticed something deep in the ether sending powerful bursts of radio waves into the universe.

Back in early 2018 the thing — whatever it is — released big bursts of energy every ~20 minutes for about three months, then stopped.

It went unnoticed, until spotted by a recent review of data collected by the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) telescope in outback WA.

It’s smaller than our sun and packs a punch. The beams were powerful enough to be one of the most brightest radio sources in the sky.

Early indications are it might be a magnetar — magnetic neutron stars millions of light years away which periodically spray beams of light across our line of sight.

Back on Earth, the bottom isn’t in on local markets, after a torrid few days where investors continued to hit the sell button amid the ongoing prospect of higher inflation and tighter monetary policy.

Among microcaps, the ASX Emerging Companies index jumped out of the gates at the opening bell with a gain of more than 1%, before it too fell into the red as sentiment reversed.

Energy and Utilities stocks are the only sectors outperforming as oil prices stay elevated. Large cap gold stocks got sold off as bond yields rose again (this might be why).

In crypto, Bitcoin is little-changed and was trading slightly below the US$37,000 level through midday trade.
 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for January 27 [intraday]:

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


 

Among the market leaders this morning, metals explorer Alara Resources (ASX:AUQ) found demand after announcing that the multi-purpose accommodation village at its Wash-hi Majaza project in Oman is now complete.

The village will house 325 crew members and “is designed for a minimum life of 12 years”, Alara said.

“This is comfortably above the current estimated project life of 10.4 years, giving the company increased flexibility should further copper discoveries be made along the strike zone or in nearby areas.”

Junior explorer Haranga Resources (ASX:HAR) joined the ASX boards and rose on debut, after raising $6.5m from investors at 20c per share.

The gold and uranium junior proceeded to launch despite a military coup currently taking place in Burkina Faso — one of its three jurisdictions alongside Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire.

Ex-resources, stocks with news on the winner’s list included breast cancer screening and diagnostic company BCAL Diagnostics (ASX:BDX), which climbed strongly following the release of its quarterly 4C filing for December.
 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks for January 27 [intraday]:

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