Happy day for miners: shares up by levels not seen since 2008

Mining stocks were soaring Thursday following a disappointing report on US services sector growth released Wednesday and comments from a top Federal Reserve official suggesting concern over rising economic risks.

As the US dollar continued to sink, investors turned to assets considered more stable, such as gold and other metals, which boosted stocks across the mining sector.

One of the biggest winners was Anglo American (LON:AAL), which at one point rose as much as 25.2% to a session high of 342.70 pence, closing later 15% up.It was closely followed by Freeport-McMoran (NYSE:FCX), which was up more than 17% to $5.70 at lunchtime in New York.

Shares in world’s No.1 mining company, BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP), were up almost 8% to $23, while the second’s largest miner, Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) saw its shares rebound by about the same — 7.4% to $26.9.

Brazil’s vale (NYSE:VALE), also benefitted from the trend, seeing a surge of 14.7% around 12:30 pm ET.

Happy day for miners: shares up by levels not seen since 2008

Gold extended its longest rally in five months with investors buying holdings in metal-backed funds for the 13th day in a row and companies rallied as prices for the precious metals climbed. Major producers Barrick (TSE, NYSE:ABX) and Goldcorp (TSE:G), (NYSE:GG) built on Wednesday’s gains and were up 4% and 6.4% in Toronto respectively.

Kinross (TSE:K) (NYSE:KGC) shares were skyrocketing, up more than 15% in Toronto and about the same in New York, while Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) was up 6%.

Other mining stocks also jumped higher — Glencore (LON:GLEN) rose 14.6% and Antofagasta was up 15.9% (LON:ANTO).