The $1.4 trillion lost in global mining stocks since 2011 exceeds the total market value of Apple Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp. and Google’s parent Alphabet Inc.
When you’ve spent a decade building new mines from the Andean mountains to the West African jungle, it’s bad news when a downturn in China, your biggest customer, shows no signs of stopping. Investors have been unforgiving and concerns that it will only get worse pushed the Bloomberg World Mining Index to an 11-year low.
“It’s terrible, there are no two ways about it,” said Paul Gait, a mining analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd. in London. “A lot of people were hoping at the start of 2016 to see at least some stabilization in the commodity performance in these stocks. Essentially people were looking to close the consensus short that has characterized 2015. This has clearly not happened.”
BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto Group were once among the world’s largest companies. Shares of the biggest commodity producers trading in London are now at least twice as volatile as the UK’s benchmark stock index.
Raw-material prices slipped to the lowest since 1999 on Thursday, with China’s stock market suffering its worst start to the year in two decades after the central bank cut the yuan’s reference rate by the most since August.
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