Glencore drops to lowest ever on China-triggered mining stocks massacre
London-listed mining stocks led by Glencore (LON:GLEN) were punished hard Tuesday after a series of broker downgrades triggered by continued fears over China’s growth, as well as a fall in commodity and oil prices.
The Swiss commodity trader and mining giant led the pack down, dropping as low as 99.9 pence at 1:23 p.m. GMT. This is the first time ever Glencore trades below 100 pence, leaving the company with the bitter mark of being the worst performer in the U.K.’s FTSE 100 index by far this year.
Anglo American (LON:AAL) was the second-worst performer, falling 6.9%, while Anglo-Australian miners BHP Billiton (LON:BLT)(ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) also made it to the 10 biggest losers of the day list, each down about 4.3%.
Copper miner Antofagasta Plc. (LON:ANTO) dropped more than 6%, while KAZ Minerals (LON:KAZ) plunged almost 23% at 2:45 GMT, the most since January, to a record low.
The stock massacre was partly a result of a series of broker downgrades. Analysts at Credit Suisse were the first to pulled the trigger, saying Tuesday fresh data had forced them to “cut China demand assumptions, commodity prices and earnings estimates heavily across the board.”
The experts added that until the demand from the Asian giant and emerging market currencies find a floor, it will remain challenging to signal an absolute bottom on commodity prices.
The mining sector was singled out by rating agency Moody’s as the one most exposed to China’s economic slowdown. This, said the report, as between 20% and 30% of output from European, Middle Eastern and African miners in terms of revenue is “exported to China both directly and indirectly”.
Metal prices suffered too, with copper dropping 2.5% to $5,139 a tonne and zinc falling as much as 1.8% to $1,628 a tonne, the lowest in five years.