News

Oil and gas might not appeal to environmentally-conscious investors, but what’s happened over the past week on the global and local stages makes it a hard sector to avoid if profits are what you’re after.

Oil and gas might not appeal to environmentally-conscious investors, but what’s happened over the past week on the global and local stages makes it a hard sector to avoid if profits are what you’re after. A sharp rise in the oil price earlier this week to more than $US74 a barrel was largely a function of international events, including a fresh threat from Iran to blockade the narrow Strait of Homuz at the western end of the Persian Gulf in retaliation against US sanctions.

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Gold down, iron ore up - perhaps with a lot further to go. In a nutshell, they were the highlights of an Easter holidays-shortened week on the Australian stock market.

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Production cuts have revitalised Australian iron ore stocks, delivering bumper profits and attracting new players, including London’s super-rich property magnates, the Reuben Brothers

Production cuts have revitalised Australian iron ore stocks, delivering bumper profits and attracting new players, including London’s super-rich property magnates, the Reuben Brothers. But how long the good times can last is a critical question for investors. Few analysts are prepared to stand in the way of the surging iron ore price, which this week hit a five-year high of $US95 a tonne, driving share prices up sharply, with most hitting fresh highs.

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A capital-raising rush over the past week by small mining companies is a clear signal that the downturn of the past few years is coming to an end.

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Nickel is the clear winner in a three-stage minerals and metals “beauty parade”, scoring top marks as an investment over the next 12-months, 24-months, and a shared second place in the five-year category with its battery cousins, lithium and cobalt (reports Tim Treadgold on Stockhead). Interestingly, lithium and cobalt are not expected to join nickel as short-term winners because the current glut of material is overwhelming the market for electric cars which received a fresh setback this week when China cut subsidies for battery-powered vehicles.

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Rare earths made headlines this week thanks to a controversial takeover bid for Lynas Corporation

Rare earths made headlines this week thanks to a controversial takeover bid for Lynas Corporation, but whether the offer from Wesfarmers succeeds or not, the important message is that one of Australia’s biggest industrial companies has decided it’s time to invest in mining. More specifically, the move on Lynas is fresh evidence that the electric car revolution is more than a passing fad, reinforcing the case for the broad family of metals needed in electric motors, either as fuel (lithium) or in other applications such as high-strength magnets (rare earths).

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Australia's big miners have rallied hard, but that hasn't stopped Credit Suisse moving overweight (reports The Australian Financial Review). Australian mining giants might have had a stellar run over the past 12 months, but Credit Suisse’s head of global equities, Andrew Garthwaite, believes they’ve got scope to push higher still on the back of some big global trends. Credit Suisse moved overweight on the mining sector earlier this week, after seeing signs that the slump in global industrial production in the final quarter of 2018 was starting to bottom out.

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Mincor Resources (ASX: MCR) has taken a “significant step” in the pathway to restarting nickel mining

Mincor Resources (ASX: MCR) has taken a “significant step” in the pathway to restarting nickel mining from its assets around Kambalda in WA after signing a term sheet with BHP Nickel West. This is the view of experienced resource analyst Brett McKay from Petra Capital in Sydney, who has set an updated price target of 84c per share for the stock (well north of the current price of 43c). The term sheet sets out the major operating principles that will form the basis for an Ore Tolling and Concentrate Purchase Agreement (OTPC) with BHP Nickel West.

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