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Insight: Why Base Metal Mining Companies Got Hammered


Nov. 23 2015, Updated 2:05 p.m. ET

Glencore and Freeport-McMoRan fell by ~20%

In the week ended November 13, all major mining companies fell to lower price levels because of the weak performance of base metals. In turn, base metals fell mainly due to the weak Chinese economic data.

Freeport-McMoRan (FCX), one of the top copper producers, fell by 19.2% in the week ended November 13. Freeport-McMoRan broke the psychological price level of $10 and ended the week at $8.7. The fall of base metals last week had its impact on Freeport-McMoRan. Since the beginning of 2015, Freeport-McMoRan fell by 63% and made it to the list of worst performing mining companies of 2015.

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Glencore (GLEN), a trading and mining company, fell by 20% in the week ended November 13. Glencore has closed in losses for the past seven sessions in London. Just like all other major base metal mining companies, the equity prices of Glencore fell because of the slump in base metal prices. Last week, the Chinese economic data and strong dollar kept the pressure on base metals and also resulted in fall of Glencore. Since the beginning of 2015, the equity prices of Glencore fell by 69%.

Alcoa reached a new multi-year low

Alcoa (AA), one of the world’s largest aluminum producers, also ended the week in a loss by falling 12%. In the week ended November 13, equity prices of Alcoa broke the support price levels and created a new multi-year low of $7.8. This low was created on November 12, and was the lowest price level that Alcoa traded at since the first quarter of 2009.

The PowerShares DB Base Metals Fund (DBB) and the SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF (XME) fell by 2.7% and 6.2%, respectively, in the week ended November 13.


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