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Small caps were hit hard in a day of market carnage on Thursday — and the outlook was shaky again on Friday morning.

Overnight US indexes again lost ground after a volatile trading session.

The Dow Jones and S&P 500 indexes each closed down by more than 2 per cent.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq “looked like it could confirm a correction” at one point, Reuters reported.

“Nasdaq was down as much as 10.3 per cent from its record high on August 29,” Reuters said. “If it closes at these levels, this would confirm a correction.” The Nasdaq recovered to be down 1.25 per cent for the session.

The ASX Small Ords index — a measure of small caps which has been trading at a seven-year high — took a hammering on Thursday. It dropped 3.25 per cent to a low of 2,682.

By comparison the large cap ASX200 index was down 2.7 per cent to 5883.

The ASX features about 1,700 small caps under $400 million market cap.

Of these, about 750 immediately plunged on Thursday morning while a similar number were unchanged as punters sold down or sat it out. Only about 120 small caps were ahead.

A major correction in the asset markets has been building for a while, reports Business Insider Australia.

“There have been 10 years of economic growth since the great financial crisis of 2008 and a bull market in stocks of pretty much the same length. That’s a long time in terms of economic cycles, and we were overdue for a “reversion to the mean,” as statisticians say.”

President Trump’s trade war, Chinese debt and excessive valuations of private companies — particularly tech plays — are among the factors causing the downturn, Business Insider reports.

Here are some of the ASX small caps hardest hit this morning:

GOING DOWN

AI virtual assistant Flamingo AI (ASX:FGO) fell 37 per cent to 2.2c after two key potential clients said they weren’t interested in continuing a paid trial.

AMP and Liberty Mutual Insurance have both ended paid trials of the AI virtual assistant and say they don’t want to buy the service.

For a time last year it was considered one of the hottest AI small caps on the ASX, with shares rising from a low of 2.5c in June to highs around 9c in November and January.

In July, Flamingo had ten potential customers in various stages of testing its technology.

Metgasco (ASX:MEL) fell 31 per cent to an intraday low of 5.2c after telling investors its drilling operations at a US well were unsuccessful.

The Weiss-Adler well has been deemed non-commercial and is being plugged and abandoned, the company said.

Final costs were expected to be materially lower than original estimates (US$7.5m vs. US$10.5m).

The well was drilled to a total depth of 17,766 feet MD and tested all objectives.

Alligator Energy (ASX:AGE) lost 25 per cent to fall back to a year-long low of 0.3c.

It told investors yesterday it had not found any “significant intercepts of uranium” at its TCC4 uranium prospect in the Northern Territory.

“While no immediate significant uranium has been identified based on scintillometer readings, we have covered only part of our target area,” chief Greg Hall said.

“It must be remembered that even drilling 100m away from the Ranger deposits would have found no anomalous uranium mineralisation.”

Stocks including Pancontinental Oil & Gas (ASX:PCL), Shareroot (ASX:SRO) and Castle Minerals (ASX:CDT) all had falls of more than 25 per cent despite a lack of news.

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks at 4pm Thursday October 11: 

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

ASX codeCompanyPrice change today (12.30pm)Price (12.30pm)VolumeMarket Cap
AJJASIAN AMERICAN M-0.420.0711k40.5M
RCPREDBANK COPPER L-0.40.01553k2.9M
VARVARISCAN MINES L-0.330.002199k3.7M
SMISANTANA MINERALS-0.330.004100k3.4M
FGOFLAMINGO AI-0.290.02515M39.2M
MELMETGASCO-0.270.055567k29.3M
AFAASF GROUP-0.250.125k108.4M
KEYKEY PETROLEUM LT-0.250.0064M10.8M
GGXGAS2GRID-0.250.003825k4.5M
EUREUROPEAN LITHIUM-0.20.088117k60.1M
XSTXSTATE RESOURCES-0.20.004444k3.9M
CGMCOUGAR METALS NL-0.20.0043M4.8M
AYRALLOY RESOURCES-0.20.00415M7.3M
HGMHIGH GRADE METAL-0.20.024300k13.6M
CRBCARBINE RESOURCE-0.20.0241M6.0M
ISXISIGNTHIS-0.190.11492k145.2M
TTLTRANSCENDENCE TE-0.180.0181M3.8M
CDTCASTLE MINERALS-0.180.0093M2.5M
WRRWORLD REACH LIMI-0.180.11542k7.4M
DGRDGR GLOBAL-0.180.115356k85.8M
DVLDORSAVI-0.180.0769k14.3M
RDGRESOURCE DEVELOP-0.170.019681k14.5M
VALVALOR RESOURCES-0.170.005201k11.4M
SPXSPECTRUM METALS-0.170.005501k5.1M
AOAAUSMON RESOURCES-0.170.005586k3.1M
ALTANALYTICA-0.170.005863k20.0M
BEEBROO-0.170.16k74.2M
BYEBYRON ENERGY-0.160.2852M234.8M
TNRTORIAN RESOURCES-0.160.027339k7.1M
DSEDROPSUITE-0.150.111M62.4M
ADXADX ENERGY-0.150.0112M14.7M
ACBA-CAP RESOURCES-0.150.0510k51.4M
CVTCOVATA-0.150.017309k15.3M
LONLONGTABLE GROUP-0.150.32116k46.0M
CPVCLEARVUE TECHNOL-0.150.41239k46.7M
PO3PURIFLOH-0.150.471k15.0M
LVHLIVEHIRE-0.150.47115k146.6M
FGRFIRST GRAPHENE L-0.140.12839k56.5M
ESEESENSE-LAB-0.140.0346k2.8M
SI6SIX SIGMA METALS-0.140.0064M3.2M
RMXRED MOUNTAIN MIN-0.140.0068M4.7M
PAKPACIFIC AMERICAN-0.140.04250k8.1M
MZNMARINDI METALS L-0.140.006600k12.5M
E2EEON NRG-0.140.006200k2.8M
CXZCONNEXION MEDIA-0.140.0063705.9M
AHLAHALIFE HOLDINGS-0.140.012100k9.4M

 

GOING UP

Drug maker Pharmaxis (ASX:PXS) was one stock to buck the trend, with news it had gotten another drug through a clinical trial.

The shares rose 7 per cent to 31c in early Thursday trade before finishing at 30c.

Pharmaxis says a phase one clinical trial for the first of its Lysyl Oxidase Like 2 (LOXL2) inhibitor compounds shows it’s safe for human use.

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks at 4pm Thursday October 11: 

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

ASX codeCompanyPrice changePrice (12.30pm)VolumeMarket Cap
LKOLAKES OIL NL10.0025M30.3M
S3RSERPENTINE TECHN0.50.0031M1.8M
ROGRED SKY ENERGY L0.50.003420k2.1M
NWENORWEST ENERGY0.50.0031M8.5M
NIUNIUMINCO GROUP L0.50.00310M6.8M
MOXMONAX MINING0.50.0032M1.8M
MARMALACHITE RES LT0.330.004125k4.1M
MXCMGC PHARMACEUTIC0.310.06752M61.9M
SUDSUDA PHARMACEUTI0.250.005850k10.3M
SORSTRATEGIC ELEMEN0.250.042M7.8M
EXOENNOX GROUP0.250.0053M7.1M
ENTENTERPRISE METAL0.250.02309k6.1M
RLCREEDY LAGOON0.220.011248k3.6M
SDLSUNDANCE RESOURC0.20.0065M45.7M
PPLPUREPROFILE0.20.1263k12.0M
FFCFARMAFORCE0.20.123k12.8M
WRMWHITE ROCK MINER0.170.0077M9.8M
LBLLASERBOND0.170.21389k16.8M
UUVUUV0.160.05767k7.6M
TNGTNG0.140.12966k97.2M
THXTHUNDELARRA0.140.016640k8.9M
MKGMAKO GOLD0.140.125k6.6M
CZNCORAZON MINING L0.140.008835k8.9M
CYQCYCLIQ GROUP0.140.008155k5.5M
CHKCOHIBA MINERALS0.140.008100k3.9M
FHSFREEHILL MINING0.140.02468k8.5M
GOOGOOROO VENTURES0.140.05740k4.3M
GASSTATE GAS0.140.205230k24.3M
AGRAGUIA RESOURCES0.130.17176k19.7M
TNTTESSERENT0.130.069204k8.0M
CAPCARPENTARIA RESO0.130.08883k16.7M
EM1EMERGE GAMING LT0.130.0095M4.7M
ENEENEVIS0.120.2812k16.2M
RESRESOURCE GENERAT0.120.077113k40.1M
TNPTRIPLE ENERGY LT0.110.0384k1.2M