Diamond News

Trump trade war bombs big week for mining majors

Big mining blasted

Mining and metals investors were offloading the sector's big names on Friday over fears of the impact of a trade war between the US and China, which is responsible for nearly half the world's industrial metal demand and two-thirds of the world's seaborne trade in steelmaking raw materials.

Copper fell nearly 3% to $3.13 a pound or $6,900 a tonne, pushing the bellwether metal back into the red for the year. Last week copper touched the highest levels since January 2014. The S&P GCSI Industrial Metals index also moved back into negative territory for 2018, despite a year-to-date rally in nickel of nearly 20% and stronger aluminum prices.

Friday's sell-off came after a busy week for mining's heavyweights with several big deals which appeared to signal that after years of belt-tightening, the majors are again looking for growth opportunities.

Shares in world number one miner BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) lost 4.5% in New York dropping the market valuation of the Melbourne-based company to $125 billion. Yesterday BHP  approved construction of a $4.2 billion iron ore mine in Western Australia sparking talk of a new boom time in the Pilbara.

Several big deals this week appeared to signal that after years of belt-tightening, the majors are again looking for growth opportunities

Trump trade war blows up big week for mining majorsVale (NYSE:VALE.P), the world's top iron ore and nickel producer, fell 5.6%. Rio de Janeiro-based Vale has been making the most of the rally in battery raw materials with the signing of a $700m cobalt streaming deal on its Canadian nickel mine earlier this week. Vale will use the money to fund a $1.7 billion underground expansion at Voisey's Bay, Labrador.

Anglo American (LON:AAL) gave up 4.3% in New York, bringing year to...

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