A massive explosion in the Caspian sea yesterday – where Azerbaijan has extensive oil and gas fields – has been attributed to a mud volcano.

Apparently, there’s hundreds of mud volcanoes both on and off the coast, which have been known to erupt violently, spewing mud and flammable gas.

Who knew?

University of Adelaide’s associate professor Mark Tingay did. He says it could be mud volcano called Makarov Bank, which exploded in 1958, releasing a column of flame 500-600 metres high and 150 metres wide.

To Markets …

US markets were closed for the 4th of July long weekend.

Elsewhere, world stocks clung close to record highs as worries about the Delta variant of COVID-19 offset positive sentiment from surging euro zone business activity and a welcome US jobs report, Morningstar says.

“Equities, of course, continue to shrug off or ignore anything that might be considered remotely negative as they continue their merry and complacent dance towards an inevitable reckoning,” said James Athey, investment director at Aberdeen Standard Investments. Gloomy.

The benchmark ASX 200 index was up 0.1% to 7,322.3 points by 12pm eastern time.

WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks in morning trade for Tuesday, July 6:

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

Leading the winners were Octanex (ASX:OXX) up 27%, Mount Ridley Mines (ASX:MRD) 25%, and Clean Teq Water (ASX:CNQ) up 24% on no news.

Tesoro Resources (ASX:TSO), was up 20% off the back of multiple zones of gold mineralisation at the Ternera East target, along with human resources technology company Xref (ASX:XF1) which reported record Q4 sales growth of 140%.

Also up 20% was Grand Gulf Energy (GGE), RBR Group (ASX:RBR), and Victory Mines (ASX:VIC).

LOSERS

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort.