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Jefferies said during discussions with investors the bank had been "surprised by what seems to be a bias to buy mining stocks, and in some cases a bias to buy high risk mining stocks"
Interest was driven by the growing evidence of a Chinese demand recovery, mine supply issues, strong balance sheets, high dividends and the potential for M&A in the sector, Jefferies said.
Jefferies said the positive sentiment contrasted with what it had seen in the past, when mining stocks fell out of favour "due to the cyclicality of commodity prices"
"This is less true today as investors are surprisingly most interested in what to buy following the recent selloff," said the bank.
Jefferies suggested the approach was justified "as there is a safe-haven element to demand".
"We expect Chinese demand to continue to recover, and demand in Europe, the US and Japan should also recover as the year progresses," said the bank.
Jefferies pointed to Rio Tinto as its top share pick, "due to its iron ore exposure and defensive characteristics".
"However, more significant virus-related mine closures are likely, which could push markets into deficit and support prices well above consensus expectations. This is especially true in copper and implies an improving risk/reward for Freeport, First Quantum and Glencore," it said.