Close to lunch, the ASX is in negative territory by 1.26 per cent. IT sector was broadly hit, with some of the biggest BNPL players taking the brunt as sentiment swings away against tech stocks. Meanwhile, energy stocks are rising after oil prices rose overnight.
 

BNPL stocks feel the heat

ASX BNPL stocks are taking a hammering in today’s trading, with market leaders Afterpay (ASX:APT) down by almost 5 per cent, and Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) plunging by over 6 per cent.

Smaller BNPL players like Sezzle (ASX:SZL) and Splitit (ASX:SPT) also felt the heat, dropping by 6 per cent and 9 per cent respectively.

Investors are concerned by last night’s action in the US – as the S&P500 and NASDAQ wiped their 2021 gains following a week of losses.

The rotation away from technology to cyclical stocks are starting to gather pace, especially after Federal Reserve’s Jerome Powell said last night that he will be patient in increasing interest rates from near zero levels.
 

Lithium stocks plummet

Lithium stocks were also taken by surprise in a broad-based sell-off today.

Peidmont Lithium (ASX:PLL) and Pilbara (ASX:PLS) led the lithiums rout – down by almost 17 per cent and 10 per cent respectively. Another lithium play, Argosy Minerals (ASX:AGY), is also down by 4.55 per cent.

The falls came after the biggest electric vehicles maker, Tesla, fell by more than 5 per cent over night.
 

Today’s best and worst performers

Energy companies are the winners in a sea of red on the ASX today –  as Brent crude rose by 3 per cent on news that OPEC and allied producers decided to extend their production costs.

Nearing lunch time, Santos (ASX:STO) rose by 3.24 per cent, while Oil Search (ASX:OSH) and Woodside (ASX:WPL) are both seeing gains of 3 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.

Leading the rout in large caps is Zip, followed by Meridian Energy (ASX: MEZ) dropping by 6 per cent, and Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC) also plunging by 6 per cent.

In small caps, Australian Pacific Coal (ASX:ACQ), Zeus Resources (ASX:ZEU) both increased as industrial metals prices rose.

Cyclic Group (ASX:CYQ) and Aquabotix (ASX:UUV) both plunged by 20 per cent each, to lead the small cap falls.