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Growth concerns make miners vulnerable, says CIBC

Project execution milestones and capital allocation moves, and free cash flow generation, will be under the microscope at CIBC Institutional Equity Research as miners' September-quarter reports roll in.
Growth concerns make miners vulnerable, says CIBC Growth concerns make miners vulnerable, says CIBC Growth concerns make miners vulnerable, says CIBC Growth concerns make miners vulnerable, says CIBC Growth concerns make miners vulnerable, says CIBC

As Q3 earnings reports start rolling in, analysts are looking for catalysts that can move mining equities

The Canadian bank said markets continued to price in a more dovish tone from central banks. However, intensifying concerns about a global economic slowdown had maintained downward pressure on cyclical commodities, which saw quarter-on-quarter price declines, except for nickel, said analyst Oscar Cabrera in a note to clients this week.

"We expect base metal price volatility to continue until we see resolution of the US-China trade impasse. Going into Q3/19, meeting or improving operating and development project guidance will be key to prevent share price downside."

Cabrera said the bank continued to prefer exposure to steel-making commodities such as metallurgical coal and iron ore, instead of base metals in the near term due to structural supply constraints.

"We remain cautious on base metal mining equities, favouring companies with strong balance sheets, potential to return cash to shareholders and financed organic growth. Our two top picks that fit the criteria are Teck Resources and Labrador Iron Ore Royalty Corp," he said.

The analyst will be looking for strong operating execution as a key competence in the current macro environment, while progress on development projects is another catalyst for equity prices.

Capital allocation decisions, on shareholder returns and growth investments, are being watched closely.

The North American financial reporting season is set against a backdrop of largely sideways-tracking markets.

In the past week new Brexit and US-China trade deal possibilities lifted market optimism, but conclusions remain elusive, while the global trend towards negative interest rates remains bullish for precious metals and the US Federal Reserve remains dovish on US economic growth - another plus for precious metals.

CIBC's gold team has raised the 2020-21 gold price forecast to US$1,600/oz, up from $1,500/oz previously, and for silver to $19/oz in the same timeframe, up from a previous estimate of $16.50-$17/oz.