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"Investors should be poised to reverse course rapidly"

Base metals are expected to continue to outperform precious metals in 2018, with investors taking a special interest in those that play into the battery metal fold, which in turn should mean explorers outperform majors.
"Investors should be poised to reverse course rapidly" "Investors should be poised to reverse course rapidly" "Investors should be poised to reverse course rapidly" "Investors should be poised to reverse course rapidly" "Investors should be poised to reverse course rapidly"

Base metals, including copper, are expected to outperform precious metals in 2018

This is the view of Edison Investment Research analyst Charles Gibson, who noted that this was a continuation of 2017 when metals contributing to the "clean" economy "distinguished themselves from the rest of the pack".

He said four of the five top performers in the 15 months to January were related to battery metals, namely cobalt, vanadium, copper and palladium. 

Cobalt rose 174%, vanadium 140%, copper 49% - despite it being expected to face oversupply - and palladium 46%.

Over the past year, general mining indices took off and outperformed general price indices, such as the Dow Jones and the FTSE 100 index, according to Gibson, adding that these in turn outperformed gold, which itself outperformed gold mining indices.

Another strange happening was the recorded returns by individual companies. The top-10 risers in the Bloomberg World Mining index saw an average return of 160%, while the bottom 10 fallers' average was only -15%, with the index rising 32%.

Gibson said the trend would continue "to be investors' proverbial friend as long as China continues to grow, the US shows no signs of tripping itself up and no geopolitical upset appears to spoil the party".

However, he warned that when the macroeconomic environment changed "investors should be poised to reverse course rapidly".

Gibson also advised investors to continue to hold precious metals as an insurance policy.

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