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Futures Fall, Yields And Dollar Jump Ahead Of Highest CPI In 31 Years

Futures Fall, Yields And Dollar Jump Ahead Of Highest CPI In 31 Years

For the third day in a row, early weakness in futures – in this case…

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This article was originally published by Zero Hedge

Futures Fall, Yields And Dollar Jump Ahead Of Highest CPI In 31 Years

For the third day in a row, early weakness in futures – in this case as a result of China’s soaring, record producer price inflation – reversed and spoos rose from session lows but were still down on the session as traders awaited inflation data due later on Wednesday. Treasury yields climbed and the dollar and cryptos rose. At 7:45 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 47 points, or 0.12%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 10.25 points, or 0.22%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 68 points, or 0.42%.

Today’s CPI print is expected to rise 5.8% in October, the highest level since since December 1990, after a 5.4% increase in the previous month. The report comes a day after producer prices data showed a solid rise in October and will be scrutinized for clues on the extent to which manufacturers were passing on higher costs to consumers, whose spending accounts for 70% of the U.S. economy

Elevated inflationary pressures “would be the latest test for the Fed’s ‘transitory’ view and challenge the central bank’s stance on policy tightening,” Han Tan, chief market analyst at Exinity Group, said in written comments. “The worry is that such stubborn inflationary pressures could choke the recovery in global demand or hasten policy tightening by major central banks.”

On Tuesday, Wall Street’s main indexes ended their long streak of record closing highs on Tuesday as Tesla tumbled and as investors booked profits from the recent run-up in gains, especially in the absence of market-moving catalysts. The declines on Wednesday came after data showed Chinese factory gate prices hit a 26-year high in October, while economic advisers to the German government said they expected the current rise in inflation to continue well into 2022.

It has been a busy premarket trading session with lots of movers. We start with Coinbase which fell 11% as analysts said the crypto exchange’s quarterly results were well below expectations. DoorDash shares surged as analysts raised price targets on the food-delivery firm after expectation-beating results and purchase of Finnish food-delivery startup Wolt Enterprises Oy.  Here are some other premarket movers today:

DoorDash (DASH US) shares surge 19% in U.S. premarket trading, with analysts raising their price targets on the food-delivery firm after expectation-beating results and its biggest ever acquisition

Chinese technology stocks listed in the U.S. rise premarket after Tencent reported 3Q profit that exceeded expectations even as revenue missed amid China’s crackdown on the tech industry

  • Tesla (TSLA US) shares inch higher 1.9% in premarket trading, set for a positive open after a 16% slump in two days amid several negative headlines for the stock
  • Stran & Co. (STRN US) shares jump as much as 43% in U.S. premarket trading, recovering ground after a sharp drop following the branding solutions firm’s IPO
  • Society Pass (SOPA US) shares drop as much as 54% in U.S. pre trading hours, after the loyalty tech platform had surged following its IPO in the prior session
  • Upstart Holdings (UPST US) plunged 19% in U.S. premarket trading after the company released 3Q earnings and 4Q forecasts; Piper Sandler ascribes share drop to “elevated investor expectations” and lack of quantification of auto opportunity
  • Poshmark (POSH US) shares sink 29% in U.S. premarket trading with Berenberg (buy) saying the online retail platform’s 3Q results and guidance were disappointing
  • PubMatic (PUBM US) surges 22% in U.S. premarket trading after the company’s 4Q sales forecast topped expectations and it posted 3Q results that Jefferies called “impressive”
  • FuboTV (FUBO US) shares drop 4.3% in U.S. premarket trading as a 3Q results beat for the “sports first” streaming-video platform was overshadowed by higher costs and some weakness on its ad revenue
  • Purple Innovation (PRPL US) slumps 31% after it cut its net revenue forecast for the full year; the guidance missed the average analyst estimate
  • RingCentral (RNG US) rises 22% premarket, a day after the provider of cloud-based communications services forecast 4Q revenue that beat the average analyst estimate
  • Toast (TOST US) slides after reporting financial results that included a net loss that widened compared with the same period last year

Turning back to CPI, here is a lenghtier preview courtesy of DB’s Jim Reid:

I may have just about found it vaguely conceivable at the start of the year that on November 10th we’d see a 5.9% YoY US CPI print and the sixth month above 5%; however, I would certainly not have thought that such a number if it had materialized would be greeted with a collective market “meh” with 10yr Treasury yields 450bps below this rate. A lot is resting on this inflation being transitory. This will be the multi-trillion dollar question for 2022, that’s for sure.

Last month saw yet another upside surprise that further undermined the transitory narrative, and, in fact, if you look at the last 7 monthly readings, 5 of them have come in above the median estimate on Bloomberg, with just 1 below and the other in line. In terms of what to expect, our US economists are looking for a reacceleration in the monthly prints, with a +0.47% forecast for the headline measure (+0.6% consensus), and +0.37% for core (+0.4% consensus). Their view is that the main driver is likely to be price pressures in those categories most sensitive to supply shocks, such as new and used vehicles. But they also see some downside risk from Covid-19-sensitive sectors like lodging away and airfares, where prices fell over the late summer as the delta variant slowed the recovery in travel. Look out for rental inflation too – last month we saw owners’ equivalent rent experience its strongest monthly increase since June 2006. It’s a measure that reflects underlying trend inflation, so it is important to monitor moving forward. Many models suggest it will be over 4% for much of next year, which is large given that it makes up around a third of the headline rate and c.40% of core.

Shifting back to markets, we next look at Europe, where equities also recovered off opening lows with the Euro Stoxx 50 and DAX recovering to trade flat. FTSE 100 outperformed, rising as much as 0.6%. Sector gains in oil & gas, utilities and insurance names are broadly offset by losses in luxury, tech, household & personal goods and travel.

Earlier in the session, Asian equities fell for a second day after data showed China’s monthly factory-gate prices grew at the fastest pace in 26 years. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid as much as 0.6% before paring its loss, with materials and IT the biggest drags. The CSI 300 Index slid as much as 1.9% before sharply paring its drop, after China’s producer and consumer price inflation numbers both exceeded forecasts. Commodity prices have soared globally this year amid expectations for a rebound from the pandemic, with energy getting a further boost from a supply crunch. Traders await Wednesday’s U.S. consumer-price report for further clues on monetary policy and economic growth.

“Eyes are now closely watching inflation as that is the next market catalyst,” said Justin Tang, head of Asian research at United First Partners. For some Asian companies “the candle is burning on both ends — with the supply chain crisis as a ceiling on revenues while obligations to expenses and liabilities remain.”  The Hang Seng turned higher in late trading as real estate developers climbed on a report that China’s bond-issuance policies may be loosened, while Tencent led a surge in tech stocks ahead of its earnings report. Vietnam and Taiwan showed small gains, while benchmarks in most other markets fell.

Japanese equities fell, following Asian peers lower after China reported worse than expected inflation. Electronics makers and trading houses were the biggest drags on the Topix, which fell 0.5%. SoftBank Group and Tokyo Electron were the largest contributors to a 0.6% drop in the Nikkei 225. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.5%, while China’s CSI 300 Index tumbled 1.1% after monthly factory-gate prices in Asia’s largest economy grew at the fastest pace in 26 years. U.S. consumer price data is scheduled to be reported later Wednesday.

“Asia is on inflation alert, fearing future costs of inputs from goods sourced from the mainland,” Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda, wrote in a note. “It seems that investors are keen to lower exposure into the U.S. CPI data tonight.”

Australian stocks ended lower for a third session as miners tumbled: the S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.1% to close at 7,423.90 after a volatile session. Miners were the worst performing industry group as iron ore prices dropped, with eight of the 11 subgauges closing lower.  Bluescope was the day’s biggest laggard after iron ore plunged to a fresh 18-month low as debt troubles in China’s real-estate market deal blow after blow to prospects for steel demand. United Malt advanced after a media report said the company could be a takeover target. Australia’s central bank Governor Philip Lowe is anchoring his bet that he won’t need to raise interest rates until 2024 on a view that unemployment needs to be lower to spur wage gains. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.5% to 13,022.46.

In FX, JPY lags in G-10, with USD/JPY rising back onto a 113-handle. CAD is the best performer.

In rates, Treasuries traded weak in the early U.S. session, following a selloff in gilts as U.K. markets start to price a higher terminal rate, bear-steepening the curve. Treasury yields are mostly cheaper by 2bp-3bp across the curve with 10-year around 1.475%; gilts lag by additional 1bp vs Treasuries while bunds outperform. During the Asian session, China’s CPI data beat expectations, adding to downside pressure in front eurodollars. Focal points for U.S. session include October CPI expected to show steep increase in y/y rate and final quarterly refunding auction, a $25b 30-year bond sale. Reduced-size U.S. refunding auctions conclude with $25b 30-year bond vs $27b in previous four; Tuesday’s 10- year sale tailed by 1.2bp after steep gains into the bidding deadline. Wednesday’s WI 30-year yield around 1.85% is below 30-year stops since January and ~19bp richer than last month’s, which stopped 1.3bp below the WI level at the bidding deadline.

In commodities, Crude futures drift lower: WTI drops 0.5% to trade near $83.70. Brent dips back below $85. Base metals are mixed. LME aluminum is the strongest performer; tin and lead are in negative territory. Spot gold drifts lower, losing $5 to trade near $1,826/oz

To the day ahead now, and the main highlight will be the aforementioned CPI release from the US for October. Otherwise, there’ll also be Italian industrial production for September. From central banks, we’ll hear from the ECB’s Elderson and the BoE’s Tenreyro, whilst earnings releases include Disney.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.2% to 4,669.75
  • STOXX Europe 600 little changed at 482.35
  • MXAP down 0.1% to 198.31
  • MXAPJ up 0.1% to 648.70
  • Nikkei down 0.6% to 29,106.78
  • Topix down 0.5% to 2,007.96
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.7% to 24,996.14
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.4% to 3,492.46
  • Sensex little changed at 60,399.20
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.1% to 7,423.90
  • Kospi down 1.1% to 2,930.17
  • Brent Futures little changed at $84.75/bbl
  • Gold spot down 0.3% to $1,825.71
  • German 10Y yield little changed at -0.29%
  • Euro down 0.2% to $1.1574
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.18% to 94.13

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • The European Central Bank would risk exacerbating inequality if it were to raise interest rates before ceasing asset purchases, according to Executive Board member Isabel Schnabel
  • U.S. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinpingare are scheduled to hold a virtual summit next week, although no specific date has been set, according to people familiar with the matter
  • A lack of top-tier intelligence on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s inner circle is frustrating senior Biden administration officials struggling to get ahead of Beijing’s next steps, according to current and former officials who have reviewed the most sensitive U.S. intelligence reports
  • China’s inflation risks are building as producers pass on higher costs to consumers, reigniting a debate over whether the central bank has scope to ease monetary policy to support a weakening economy and potentially adding to the pressure on global consumer prices
  • The U.K. opposition called for a parliamentary investigation into former Conservative cabinet minister Geoffrey Cox, as the scandal over sleaze and lobbying engulfing Boris Johnson’s ruling party gains momentum

A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk

Asian equity markets traded negatively after a lacklustre handover from Wall Street where the major indices took a break from recent advances and the S&P 500 snapped an eight-day win streak ahead of looming US inflation data. ASX 200 (-0.1%) was rangebound with early strength in financials gradually offset by losses in the commodity-related sectors and with the improvement in Westpac Consumer Sentiment data doing little to spur risk appetite. Nikkei 225 (-0.6%) was subdued with exporters pressured by unfavourable currency inflows and with the list of biggest movers in the index dominated by companies that recently announced their earnings, although Nissan and NTT Data Corp were among the success stories on improved results including a surprise return to quarterly profit for the automaker. Hang Seng (+0.7%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.4%) initially underperformed amid ongoing developer default concerns as Evergrande has reportedly failed to pay coupon payments at the end of its 30-day grace period. Rating agencies have also downgraded a couple of developers and Fantasia Holdings shares fell as much as 50% on resumption from a one-month trading halt after it missed bond payments due early last month. Furthermore, tensions continued to brew on the Taiwan Strait after US lawmakers made a surprise visit to Taiwan and with China conducting combat readiness patrols in the area ahead of a potential Biden-Xi virtual meeting that could occur next week, which potentially lifted sentiment, while participants also reflected on the firmer than expected inflation data from China which showed consumer prices registered their fastest increase in more than a year and factory gate prices rose at a fresh record pace. Finally, 10yr JGBs traded marginally higher amid the lacklustre mood in stocks and presence of the BoJ in the market for over JPY 1.3tln of JGBs with 1yr-10yr maturities, although gains were capped by resistance ahead of the 152.00 focal point and a pull-back in T-notes.

Top Asian News

  • China SOEs Suggest Govt Ease Debt Rules in Property M&A: Cailian
  • Iron Ore Gloom Deepens as China Property Woes Threaten Demand
  • Chinese Developers Surge on Report Bond Rules May be Eased
  • Tencent’s ‘Other Gains’ Unexpectedly Double, Helping Profit Beat

European equities (Eurostoxx 50 -0.1%) have traded with little in the way of firm direction as a slew of earnings dictate the state of play amid a lack of fresh macro impulses. The handover from Asia was mostly a downbeat one with focus on firmer than expected CPI and PPI prints out of China and ongoing developer default concerns as Evergrande bond holders have reportedly not received coupon payments by the end of today’s Asia-close grace period, in reference to missed coupon payments totalling USD 148.1mln. Stateside, futures are a touch softer (ES -0.2%) after cash markets saw the S&P 500 snap its eight-day winning streak during yesterday’s session. Ahead, the main event for the US will be the CPI release at 13:30GMT whilst the earnings docket continues to slow down with Disney the main standout after-hours. Back to Europe, sectors are mixed with Oil & Gas outperforming peers alongside price action in the crude complex. Banking names saw initial gains trimmed after earnings from Credit Agricole (-1.1%) and ABN AMRO (+1.9%) were unable to provide sustained support for the sector despite the former exceeding profit expectations. The retail sector has been provided a boost by Marks & Spencer (+11.4%) after the Co. reported stellar earnings and raised guidance. Elsewhere in the UK, ITV (+12.0%) sits at the top of the FTSE 100 after printing solid revenue metrics and a bullish revenue outlook. To the downside, Personal and Household goods lag in the wake of earnings from Adidas (-6.0%) which saw the Co.’s performance hampered by factory closures in Vietnam and product boycotts in China. Finally, Alstom (+9.6%) sits at the top of the CAC post-earnings with the Co. stating that supply chain shortages had no material impact on H1 sales.

Top European News

  • ECB May Aid Rich If Rates Rise Before QE Ends, Schnabel Says
  • Merkel Advisers Urge ECB Exit Strategy as Price Pressures Rise
  • King Sinks Impala Plan to Create World’s No. 1 Platinum Firm
  • Alstom’s Cash Drain Is Less Than Forecast; Shares Jump

In FX, the Greenback remains relatively firm in the run up to US inflation data having turned a corner of sorts on Tuesday, with the index extending beyond 94.000 following its rebound from 93.872 and inching closer to the current 94.380 w-t-d peak, at 94.221, thus far. Interestingly, the Buck has regained momentum irrespective of the benign Treasury (and global) yield backdrop, softer than forecast elements in the PPI release and most Fed officials maintaining a distance between the end of tapering and tightening. However, risk sentiment if wavering to the benefit of the Dollar more than others and the aforementioned CPI readings may be supportive if in line or above consensus. Note, initial claims are also scheduled due to tomorrow’s Veteran’s Day holiday and the final leg of supply comes via Usd 25 bn long bonds.

  • NZD/JPY – Ironically perhaps, the Kiwi is struggling to keep sight of 0.7100 vs its US peer on the very day that COVID-19 restrictions were eased in Auckland, and a further deterioration in NZ business sentiment alongside a fall in the activity outlook may be the catalyst, while the Yen has run into resistance again above 113.00 and is now relying on decent option expiry interest between the round number and 113.05 (1.1 bn) to keep its bull run going.
  • GBP/EUR/AUD/CHF – All softer against the Greenback, as Cable hovers below 1.3550, the Euro pivots 1.1575, Aussie meanders within a range just above 0.7350 amidst favourable Aud/Nzd crossflows and an improvement in Westpac consumer sentiment, and the Franc treads water inside 0.9150-00 parameters. However, Eur/Usd appears to be underpinned by heavier option expiries on the downside than upside rather than ostensibly hawkish ECB promptings from Germany’s Government advisors given 2.1 bn between 1.1575-65 and a further 1.2 bn from 1.1555-50 vs 1.5 bn at the 1.1600 strike.
  • CAD – The Loonie is outperforming or holding up better than other majors near 1.2400 vs its US rival even though WTI has backed off from best levels just shy of Usd 85/brl, but Usd/Cad could still be drawn to expiry interest starting at 1.2450 and stretching some way over 1.2500 in the absence of anything Canadian specific, and pending US inflation data of course.

WTI and Brent have been somewhat choppy this morning, but remain within reach of overnight ranges and well within yesterday’s parameters as fresh newsflow has been light; a performance that is similar to the morning’s directionless equity trade. Focus has been on last nights/yesterday’s events after the EIA’s STEO release seemingly lessened the likelihood of a SPR release followed by the weekly private inventory report, which printed a headline draw of 2.485M against the expected build of 2.1mln – reaction was minimal. Later today, we get the DoE equivalent for which expectations remain at a headline build of 2.13mln, but the components are expected to post draws of around 1mln. Elsewhere, spot gold and silver are a touch softer on the session with the US Dollar and yields perhaps weighing, though the previous metals have once again not deviated too far from overnight parameters. On copper, prices were hampered by the Chinese inflation data though LME copper has staged a marginal recovery as the session has progressed.

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Oct. CPI YoY, est. 5.9%, prior 5.4%; CPI MoM, est. 0.6%, prior 0.4%
  • 8:30am: Oct. CPI Ex Food and Energy YoY, est. 4.3%, prior 4.0%; MoM, est. 0.4%, prior 0.2%
  • 8:30am: Nov. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 260,000, prior 269,000
  • 8:30am: Oct. Continuing Claims, est. 2.05m, prior 2.11m
  • 8:30am: Oct. Real Avg Weekly Earnings YoY, prior -0.8%
  • 8:30am: Oct. Real Avg Hourly Earning YoY, prior -0.8%
  • 10am: Sept. Wholesale Trade Sales MoM, prior -1.1%; Wholesale Inventories MoM, est. 1.1%, prior 1.1%
  • 2pm: Oct. Monthly Budget Statement, est. -$179b, prior – $61.5b

DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

After three days in hospital in traction, little Maisie has a 3-hour hip operation this morning. Showing one benefit of the pandemic, she had a zoom call with her class at school yesterday on their big screen where they all got to ask her questions. The best one apparently was one boy who put his hand up and said “will your new wheelchair have an engine?”. I was reading last night about people with Maisie’s condition (perthes) ending up playing international sport as an adult after a long recovery as a kid, including a Danish striker who played in the semi-finals of the Euros this summer and a 132kg American football player. As long as she waits a polite time after her long recovery to beat me at golf then I’ll be very happy.

Keeping my mind off things today will undoubtedly be US CPI. Given my inflationary bias views I may have just about found it vaguely conceivable at the start of the year that on November 10th we’d see a 5.9% YoY US CPI print and the sixth month above 5%; however, I would certainly not have thought that such a number if it had materialised would be greeted with a collective market “meh” with 10yr Treasury yields 450bps below this rate. A lot is resting on this inflation being transitory. This will be the multi-trillion dollar question for 2022, that’s for sure.

Last month saw yet another upside surprise that further undermined the transitory narrative, and, in fact, if you look at the last 7 monthly readings, 5 of them have come in above the median estimate on Bloomberg, with just 1 below and the other in line. In terms of what to expect, our US economists are looking for a reacceleration in the monthly prints, with a +0.47% forecast for the headline measure (+0.6% consensus), and +0.37% for core (+0.4% consensus). Their view is that the main driver is likely to be price pressures in those categories most sensitive to supply shocks, such as new and used vehicles. But they also see some downside risk from Covid-19-sensitive sectors like lodging away and airfares, where prices fell over the late summer as the delta variant slowed the recovery in travel. Look out for rental inflation too – last month we saw owners’ equivalent rent experience its strongest monthly increase since June 2006. It’s a measure that reflects underlying trend inflation, so it is important to monitor moving forward. Many models suggest it will be over 4% for much of next year, which is large given that it makes up around a third of the headline rate and c.40% of core.

Staying with inflation, China’s year-on-year numbers for October surprised on the upside overnight with CPI +1.5% (consensus +1.4%, last month +0.7%), the highest since September 2020. PPI +13.5% (consensus +12.3%) was also at a 26-year high. Asian stocks are trading lower with the KOSPI (-0.86%), Shanghai Composite (-1.20%), CSI (-1.40%), the Nikkei (-0.49%) and Hang Seng (-1.20%) all down after the China numbers. Futures are pointing to a weak start in the US & Europe too with S&P 500 futures (-0.4%) and DAX futures (-0.23%) both down.

As investors look forward to today’s number, the long equity advance finally petered out yesterday as the S&P 500 (-0.35%) snapped a run of 8 successive gains. A 9th day in the green would have marked the longest winning streak since November 2004, but in the end it wasn’t to be.It also prevented an 18th up day out of the last 20 for the first time since September 1954.So reset your counters. Instead, we saw a broader risk-off move as equity indices moved lower on both sides of the Atlantic alongside a fresh rally and flattening in sovereign bond yields and curves.

So the S&P 500 (-0.35%), the NASDAQ (-0.60%) and Europe’s STOXX 600 (-0.19%) all fell back from their record highs in the previous session although the equal weighted S&P 500 was almost flat (-0.03%) showing that there wasn’t huge breadth to the US weakness. Sector dispersion was tight in the US, with materials (+0.43%) among the leaders again along with the more typically defensive utilities sector (+0.44%). Financials (-0.55%) declined on the flatter curve story but it was discretionary stocks (-1.35%) that took the biggest hit, dragged down by Tesla declining a further -11.99% and now losing c.$200bn of market cap over two days or the equivalent of 8.5 times Ford’s market cap.

The VIX index of volatility ticked up another +0.58pts to hit its highest level in nearly 4 weeks, but remains comfortably below the peaks reached during September’s 5% pullback in the S&P. By contrast, Bitcoin proved to be one of the few winners of yesterday as it increased to an all-time high of $67,734, although that was slightly down from its all-time intraday high of $68,513 earlier in the day.

Meanwhile, the question of the various Federal Reserve appointments has been occupying increasing attention and impacting bond markets, but in spite of the gossip there’s been no fresh news over the last 24 hours we didn’t already know. Earlier this week, Politico cited two sources with knowledge of the process saying that a decision would be made by Thanksgiving. But for those with longer memories, it was reported by Bloomberg back in August that people familiar with the process were saying that President Biden was likely to make his choice around Labor Day in early September, and over two months have passed since. So we’ll have to see what the real deadline is.

Nevertheless, the news from late Monday night in the US that Fed Governor Brainard had been interviewed for the Fed Chair position helped support US Treasuries, thanks to the perception that Brainard would be a more dovish pick. Regardless of whether Powell or Brainard is Chair come this time next year, the Board will likely become more dovish as President Biden replaces outgoing Governors (and fills empty seats should he choose to do so). By the close of trade, 10yr yields were down -5.4bps to 1.44%, and the 30yr yield was down -6.4bps to 1.82%, which was its lowest closing level since mid-September. Another striking thing was that the moves lower in Treasury yields were entirely driven by a fresh decline in real yields, with the 10yr real yield down -7.0bps to -1.20%, marking its lowest closing level since TIPS began trading in 1997.

Meanwhile, there was another round of curve flattening yesterday, with the 5s30s slope down -2.8bps to 73.5bps, which is the flattest it’s been since the initial market panic over the pandemic back in March 2020. For Europe it was a similar story as yields fell across the continent, and those on 10yr bunds (-5.5bps), OATs (-5.5bps) and BTPs (-5.3bps) all saw decent moves lower.

Ahead of today’s CPI, investors had the PPI numbers to digest yesterday, though there was little market reaction to speak of as they came in almost entirely in line with the consensus. The monthly reading was up by +0.6% in October, which in turn saw the year-on-year measure remain at +8.6%, with both of those in line with expectations. The core measure did come in a touch below, at +0.4% (vs. +0.5% expected), but again that left the yoy reading at +6.8% as expected.

One factor that may help on the inflation front over the coming months was a major decline in natural gas prices yesterday, with both European (-8.16%) and US (-8.26%) futures witnessing substantial declines. This wasn’t reflected elsewhere in the energy complex though, with WTI (+2.71%) and Brent crude (+1.62%) oil prices seeing a further rise following reports that the US would not need to release strategic reserves due to the demand outlook, and gold prices (+0.42%) closed at their highest levels since June.

There wasn’t a massive amount of other data yesterday, though the ZEW survey from Germany for November saw the expectations reading unexpectedly rise to 31.7 (vs. 20.0 expected), which is the first increase after 5 consecutive monthly declines. However, the current situation measure did fall to 12.5 (vs. 18.3 expected). Finally out of the US, the NFIB’s small business optimism index for October fell to a 7-month low of 98.2 (vs. 99.5 expected).

To the day ahead now, and the main highlight will be the aforementioned CPI release from the US for October. Otherwise, there’ll also be Italian industrial production for September. From central banks, we’ll hear from the ECB’s Elderson and the BoE’s Tenreyro, whilst earnings releases include Disney.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 11/10/2021 – 07:56
nasdaq
asx
ax
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Author: Tyler Durden

Articles

Platinex Acquires W2 Copper-Nickel-PGE Project Near Ring of Fire

Source: The Critical Investor   01/20/2022

After acquiring the W2 Copper-Nickel-PGE project in Ontario, Platinex adopted a new dual strategy…

Source: The Critical Investor   01/20/2022

After acquiring the W2 Copper-Nickel-PGE project in Ontario, Platinex adopted a new dual strategy by going back to its roots, which involved platinum group elements (PGE), but is also in the process of revitalizing its large and prospective Shining Tree gold exploration project in the Abitibi Greenstone Belt, also in Ontario, writes The Critical Investor.

Preview:

Platinex Inc. (PTX:CSE; 9PX:FSE) is developing quite an attractive asset portfolio in Ontario, Canada. The company already owns the highly prospective and strategically located district-scale Shining Tree gold project and very recently acquired the W2 Copper-Nickel-PGE project. Additionally, Platinex holds numerous net smelter return (NSR) royalties in its portfolio.

In the last year, management and board were strengthened, and a high-quality core investor base came in following these changes, providing additional value and support. The stock is coming off long time lows, and remains at an attractive entry point for new investors. Backed by its new investor base, the company is looking to raise money soon.

It is anticipated that strong drill results, positive metal price movements, and renewed enthusiasm in the Ring of Fire after the recently finalized acquisition of Noront by Wyloo Metals could provide substantial catalysts for share price appreciation in 2022. Potential new and complementary asset acquisitions could provide an additional boost. In addition, in the first half of 2022 the company will be looking at other strategic transactions to potentially enhance shareholder value without significant dilution.

Investors are encouraged to review the Key Points at the end of this article for a quick snapshot of the company.

Introduction

Platinex is a junior mining company exploring mineral properties in Ontario, Canada. The company has adopted a dual strategy: it will continue its gold exploration activities at the Shining Tree gold project in southwest Timmins, and is also entering the battery metals space now through the acquisition of the W2 Copper-Nickel-PGE project in the Ring of Fire region. Demand for battery metals such as copper, nickel and PGEs (platinum group elements including platinum and palladium), is at historical highs, with future growth expected due to the unstoppable electrification and durable energy paradigm shift.

The Shining Tree gold project has been the company’s main focus for a long time, as it has been in the company since 2008. After a quiet period during the 2013–2015 bear market, the company approached Shining Tree with renewed vigor in 2017, expanding the project over five times, and completing reconnaissance exploration programs including channel sampling, mapping, and gold in till sampling, with strong results. More recently an airborne magnetics survey was completed, and a LIDAR survey will be done soon.

After this, drill targets will be selected, with the company aiming to begin the next drill program at Shining Tree in the near term, pending the closing of an upcoming capital raise. The Shining Tree asset is viewed as a strategic asset for the company. With a large land package in an active camp including Alamos Gold (AGI.TO), IAMGold (IMG.TO), Aris Gold (ARIS.TO) and many quality juniors, there is an real opportunity for the Shining Tree camp to contain another Coté Gold deposit, which located to the west.

On January 17, 2022, the company expanded its horizon, and acquired the large W2 Copper-Nickel-PGE project from a private owner, returning the company to its historical roots and in keeping with the name Platinex. As copper and nickel are both very important to the ongoing paradigm shift towards electrification, the W2 project fits perfectly with the new strategy. The next step for Platinex at W2 will be to complete a comprehensive data compilation and obtain an exploration permit. Following this, the company will be able to commence drilling of targets that have already been identified but remain untested, and carry out prospecting and geophysical surveys to identify and refine new targets.

W2 project

It seems Platinex Inc. has timed its acquisition of a 100% interest in the W2 project well, as Wyloo acquired nearby Noront (NOT.V) for C$616.9 million after a bidding war with a formidable competitor: BHP. As BHP is known for doing extremely thorough due diligence on its transactions, it seems certain the company saw compelling reasons to bypass the usual Ring of Fire objections, as this area still has been underdeveloped due to lack of infrastructure. The Ring of Fire is viewed as one of the most promising mining opportunities in Ontario for more than a century.

After a total of C$278 million in exploration has been carried out in the Ring of Fire so far, numerous significant discoveries involving chromite, copper, nickel, zinc, gold and PGEs are waiting for the first initiatives on building mining projects and accompanying infrastructure, potentially with the help of Ontario, the province with the most revenues coming from mining across Canada.

In the meantime, Platinex will be exploring its new project as soon as possible, to potentially prove up a significant deposit. The W2 project has seen significant exploration so far, ranging from sampling to airborne surveys to 8,772 meters (m) of drilling. Drill results for the property were impressive:

  • 6 m of 0.56% copper equivalent (CuEq) or 0.956 grams per tonne (g/t) palladium equivalent (PdEq) (LH-01-06)
  • 6 m of 0.57% CuEq or 0.971 g/t PdEq including 17 m of 1.08% CuEq or 1.86 g/t PdEq (LH-01-05)
  • 42 m of 1.02% CuEq or 1.8 g/t PdEq including a high grade 4.5 m section of 4.52 g/t PdEq (LH-01-02)

Most results were intercepted close to surface, indicating substantial open pit potential. Numerous targets have been identified, and the T5 target appears to have the same geophysical signature as Eagle’s Nest (Noront/Wyloo).

Therefore it is likely the company will start drilling at these targets soon after permits are granted.

Shining Tree

Besides the W2 project, Platinex has also assembled another impressive property: the 100% owned Shining Tree gold project in the Abitibi Greenstone Belt in Ontario, home to some of the richest gold mineralization worldwide, with total production surpassing a staggering 180 million ounces (Moz). The company has expanded this asset into an impressive 21,720 hectare land package, located strategically in between adjacent projects owned by IAMGold (the aforementioned Coté Gold > 6.5 Moz gold (Au), going into production in 2023, and Gosselin), Aris Gold (Juby, 2.3 Moz Au) and Orefinders (ORX.V) (Knight).

As can be seen, the property encompasses over 20 km of the prospective Ridout-Tyrell Deformation Zone, which is also host to the aforementioned Coté Gold and Juby deposits. The Shining Tree project is located at the crossing of the Larder Lake Fault, which is home to some of the largest gold deposits in Canada, and the Michiwakenda Lake Fault. Platinex has completed gold in till sampling in the past, outlining significant anomalies:

Platinex also completed a 51 drill hole program a while ago at the Herrick target, and hit gold at almost every hole, with highlights accounting for 7.15m @2.76 g/t Au, 46.3m @0.65 g/t Au, 7.2m @2.38 g/t Au, 14.1m @1.2 g/t Au and 12.2m @1.47 g/t Au, all within open pit depths.

Mineralization at the Herrick target is open at depth, and management hopes to find more mineralization at depth, as lots of deposits in the Abitibi show these characteristics. Besides Herrick, there are many more targets to be drill-tested, and management is currently outlining plans for this at the moment as mentioned.

Royalty portfolio

Platinex also holds an interesting portfolio of royalties on projects located in Ontario, with for example a 2.5% NSR on Big Trout Lake (PGM-Ni-Cu-Cr), a 1% NSR on a claim block in the Ring of Fire (Au-Ni-Cu-PGM-Cr) and a 1% NSR on a part of the Shining Tree project. The company also holds a 2% NSR from Newmont (NGT.TO) on the Sonia-Puma Au-Cu property in Chile. Platinex’s current strategy for its royalty portfolio encompasses the creation of interesting royalties on both Shining Tree and the new W2 property, in turn creating a substantial royalty portfolio that in the future could be monetized by selling or spinning out.

Share structure

There are 161.65  million shares outstanding (fully diluted 214.65  million), 38.1 million warrants (average strike price of C$0.095) and incentive stock options issued to the tune of 15 million options. Platinex has a current market capitalization of C$7.2 million based on the January 18, 2022 share price of C$0.045. 

Platinex Inc, 1 year timeframe (Source: tmxmoney.com)

The current cash position of Platinex is approximately C$0.5 million, and the company will be looking to raise additional funds soon. Shares are tightly held, as management holds no less than 12% of the current shares outstanding (CEO Greg Ferron holds 2%), Treasury Metals (TML.TO) holds 10%, Alamos Gold 3.5%, European HNW’s with strong ties to management hold 25.5%, and the company also enjoys approximately 7% institutional ownership.

Management

CEO Greg Ferron: Mr. Ferron has 20 years of mining industry and capital markets experience. He has held various senior level roles in mining, corporate finance, corporate development, and investor relations – including at Laramide Resources Ltd. (LAM.TO), Treasury Metals Inc., TMX Group and Scotiabank. Mr. Ferron has significant diverse merger and acquisitions experience, including Laramide’s Westwater ISR project acquisition, and more recently the Goldlund project acquisition as CEO of Treasury Metals, creating one of Canada’s largest gold developers. Mr. Ferron is also a director of Fancamp Exploration Inc (FNC.V).

Non-Executive Chairman James Trusler: Chairman of the Board of the company, 1998 to present; CEO and President of the company 1998–2018, 2019 to 2021; President, J. R. Trusler & Associates (mineral consultant), 1995 to present. Geological Engineer with over 45 years of exploration experience with a history of discovery (multiple Ni-Cu-PGM deposits at the Raglan Nickel mine, owned by Glencore) and strategic acquisitions of world-class scale gold, uranium and Ni-Cu-PGE deposits.

Director Felix Lee: Mr. Lee is an economic geologist and senior executive with over 30 years of business and project management experience in the minerals industry both in Canada and internationally. Mr. Lee completed his tenure as Director and Principal Consultant to CSA Global Canada in 2019 and was previously owner and President of the predecessor Toronto-based geological consultancy ACA Howe International Limited. Felix Lee is currently the President of Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (“PDAC”) the largest such mining industry organization in the world.

Finance Committee: Frank Hoegel: His background includes more than 20 years of direct experience in the mining industry, and a successful track record as an international financier/investor. He currently manages a natural resource fund, sits on the advisory board of Concept Capital Management, and sits on the board of several TSX Venture listed companies.

Finance Committee: Olivier Crottaz: Independent asset manager who founded Crottaz Finance. 30 years in the Swiss banking business as senior portfolio manager and tactical asset allocator at UBS and Credit Suisse as managing director.

Technical Committee: Lorne Burden: Senior manager with over 30 years experience, recently Manager Corporate Development and Senior Geologist Logistics at Royal Nickel Corporation. Former Director of PDAC.

Technical Committee: Blaine Webster: Experienced Geophysicist, Discovered 4 Moz Au property, Completed 1,500 geophysical surveys in 35 countries as President of JVX Ltd. Former President Goldeye Exploration Ltd. President Golden Mallard Corp.

Key points

  • On January 17, 2022, Platinex acquired the W2 Copper-Nickel-PGE property in Ontario, close to the prospective Ring of Fire area, which is home to large chromite, base-, and precious metal deposits
  • Platinex also fully owns the prospective 21,720 hectare Shining Tree gold project, which is located strategically between other gold projects nearby
  • The Shining Tree gold project contains 21 km of the prolific Ridout-Tyrell Deformation Zone, which in turn contains the 6.5 Moz Coté Gold deposit (IAMGold), and the 2.3 Moz Juby gold deposit (Aris Gold)
  • The company plans to conduct exploration programs on both projects in 2022
  • Platinex also has an interesting royalty portfolio on copper, zinc, chromite, gold and PGE properties in Canada and Chile.
  • Platinex has experienced management, and enjoys strong financial backing by Treasury Metals, a few institutions and a group of powerful European investors
  • Platinex is valued at an attractive entry point at the moment, with a tiny market cap of just C$7.2 million

With its recent acquisition of the W2 Copper-Nickel-PGE project just completed as part of its new dual strategy, a new CEO, and new strategic backers coming in, and the large, prospective Shining Tree gold project ready to explore, Platinex seems to be shifting gears now. After the upcoming raise is closed, the company will be ready to execute on new exploration programs for both W2 and Shining Tree, which already have seen strong results in the past and have lots of mineralized potential. It will be interesting to see how far Platinex management can take these two large, very intriguing land packages.    

This article is also published on www.criticalinvestor.eu. To never miss a thing, please subscribe to my free newsletter, in order to get an email notice of my new articles soon after they are published.

The Critical Investor is a newsletter and comprehensive junior mining platform, providing analysis, blog and newsfeed and all sorts of information about junior mining. The editor is an avid and critical junior mining stock investor from The Netherlands, with an MSc background in construction/project management. Number cruncher at project economics, looking for high-quality companies, mostly growth/turnaround/catalyst-driven to avoid too much dependence/influence of long-term commodity pricing/market sentiments, and often looking for long-term deep value.

Getting burned in the past himself at junior mining investments by following overly positive sources that more often than not avoided to mention (hidden) risks or critical flaws, The Critical Investor learned his lesson well, and goes a few steps further ever since, providing a fresh, more in-depth, and critical vision on things, hence the name.

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The author is not a registered investment advisor, and currently has a long position in this stock. Platinex Inc. is a sponsoring company. All facts are to be checked by the reader. For more information go to www.platinex.com and read the company’s profile and official documents on www.sedar.com, also for important risk disclosures. This article is provided for information purposes only, and is not intended to be investment advice of any kind, and all readers are encouraged to do their own due diligence, and talk to their own licensed investment advisors prior to making any investment decisions.

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7 Stocks to Buy for a Year Full of Volatility and Rate Hikes

“This time, it’s different.” Often considered the four most dangerous words in finance (five if you don’t count contracted words as singles), the…

“This time, it’s different.” Often considered the four most dangerous words in finance (five if you don’t count contracted words as singles), the sentiment warns of ignoring historical lessons and plowing ahead without a care in the world. That’s why to my knowledge, no one has uttered them in the new normal. Still, not saying it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider shifting strategies for stocks to buy.

For instance, you’ll often hear real-estate brokers claim that you can’t compare the housing bubble of the 2000s decade with the current rally. The idea is that buyers today are not of the subprime quality that dominated the last crisis. Without the threat of losing their homes due to say, questionable decisions of acquiring adjustable-rate mortgages, housing-related stocks to buy could likely continue rising higher.

That is, except for one problem: many of those sector-specific stocks to buy are not doing well. While the acquisitive party themselves may be prime borrowers (or even cash buyers), the overall economy still stands on shaky ground. As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, U.S.-based collective corporate debt is over $11 trillion. Additionally, other headwinds such as soaring consumer prices could cause people to limit their purchases — and that’s exactly what happened.

It’s not inflation that entirely should take the blame. The novel coronavirus’ omicron variant has taken its toll on commerce. Yet, the Federal Reserve has seen enough data to be worried. Thus, it’s likely that this year will be one of aggressive and hawkish monetary policies. The rate hikes may come earlier and with perhaps greater gusto as inflation fears continue to shape politics. In turn, that’s a good sign to rethink your stocks to buy.

However, don’t get too comfortable that rising borrowing costs are the end-all, be-all. As I’ve warned in multiple InvestorPlace articles, money velocity is down near all-time recorded lows. That’s an indication that regular folks are deeply concerned about what lies ahead. Therefore, it’s a good idea to consider these historically resilient stocks to buy.

Perhaps more than any other period in modern market history, investors must remain vigilant and agile. While it’s good to have a well-grounded framework to base your ideas from, should events and narratives change, you want to be flexible with your stocks to buy. Nevertheless, these ideas may prove worthwhile if the Fed is serious about its hawkishness.

Stocks to Buy: Charles Schwab (SCHW)

Source: Isabelle OHara / Shutterstock.com

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t think about adding Charles Schwab on any list of stocks to buy. Don’t get me wrong — it’s a fine establishment, one of the most respected institutions in high finance. However, people tend to want a little pizzazz in their portfolio. Certainly, when people get up in the morning to check their tickers, financial services securities don’t exactly rank highly.

I can imagine folks getting a jolt similar to a caffeine boost from cryptocurrencies. SCHW stock, though? Not so much.

But as I alluded to earlier, the narrative has changed. Now, financial services firms may be among the most attractive stocks to buy. Primarily, the company serves many high-net-worth investors, who probably benefitted handsomely from the time following the spring doldrums of 2020. How could you not? A monkey throwing darts would have yielded some positive ideas.

However, it’s in times of great uncertainty — such as the present juncture — where financial advisors really earn their keep. It’s easy to pick bullish ideas in an extremely bullish bull market. Now pick ones that will keep the boat afloat in ambiguous waters. And that’s part of the reason why SCHW stock may be off to a good start this year.

Progressive (PGR)

A white car with the Progressive logo written across the doors in big blue lettersSource: Shutterstock

If I had to pick a more sleep-inducing sector than financial services as an investment, it would be insurance. Home insurance, auto insurance, whatever — it’s really boring. Again, it’s not about the business itself. As I mentioned in an article for Benzinga, the insurance industry has a rich history in the U.S. In fact, entrepreneurs established the first insurance firm in South Carolina to provide fire coverage.

If you want to go further back in time, in ancient Babylon, merchants signed bottomry contracts, which were loans that covered sea shipments. If an incident resulted in lost cargo, merchants did not have to repay the loan. Furthermore, the interest on this contract covered the insurance risk.

However, what about modern times? Well, insurance stocks to buy tend to have a linear relationship with interest rates: the higher the rates, the greater the growth. Obviously, you don’t want to invest based on arbitrarily defined short-term windows. However, I can’t help but notice that PGR stock is up nearly 5.5% year-to-date (YTD).

Fundamentally, it’s possible that as Covid-19 fades, companies will recall their workers. In turn, that would imply a greater need for auto insurance — benefitting Progressive.

Stocks to Buy: Kellogg (K)

stocks to buy kelloggSource: DenisMArt / Shutterstock.com

From boring stocks to buy to boring breakfasts, Kellogg really encompasses it all.

I love Kellogg and it’s a wonderful business. However, when one in four Americans say they never have time to make breakfast — and with nearly two-thirds sometimes getting so busy that they skip meals — the critics of K stock have some viable arguments regarding relevancy concerns.

However, with the new normal, Kellogg could hedge against the return-to-work idea I just mentioned. If the mass work-from-home experiment becomes permanent, then people will have more time to munch on Kellogg’s various scrumptious breakfast products. Worse comes to worst, you might be able to claim Amish identity and have your webcam turned off.

On a more guttural level, grocery shortages inherently and cynically provide a tailwind for Kellogg through enhanced demand. Plus, like many resilient stocks to buy, K stock features a higher-than-average dividend. So, all in all, investors should continue to keep this in mind for their portfolio of stocks to buy.

Coca-Cola (KO)

coca-cola (KO) bottles and cans. coke is a blue-chip stocksSource: Fotazdymak / Shutterstock.com

By now, we’re all familiar with the concept of retail revenge. But if you haven’t heard, it’s the collective opening of wallets as consumers essentially bid to make up for lost time and experiences. Furthermore, with the personal saving rate skyrocketing during the lockdowns for obvious reasons, Americans had a lot of money to spend.

While I’m not entirely clear how much of the pandemic savings are in consumers’ balance sheets, as a rate of personal income relative to cash outlays and taxes, spending has normalized back down to pre-pandemic norms. Cynically, this may bolster Coca-Cola under the thesis of cheap entertainment stocks to buy.

Naturally, mainstream media outlets have a tendency to shift the blame on the profligacy of American consumers. But the ultra-low money velocity suggests this idea may not be entirely accurate. Instead, it’s possible that big corporations have decimated wages to the point where it’s impossible for average Americans to get ahead. The widening wealth gap also provides confirming evidence.

And please — don’t give me this toxic positivity, hustle-culture garbage about working for your dreams. If it was remotely possible for everyone to 10X their income, everyone would do it. Instead, the reality is that people will penny-pinch while still seeking cheap thrills, which cynically bodes well for Coca-Cola’s addictive products.

Stocks to Buy: Duke Energy (DUK)

the duke energy logoSource: jadimages / Shutterstock.com

Speaking of hustle culture, one of the ways that you may be able to determine whether a trend is a fading fad or a viable construct is to check if the concept works in any other context. For instance, if hustling can generate 10X your current income, can hustling utility workers generate 10X more electricity than they already do?

The answer of course is no, and the reason is that we live in a world of finite resources. Certainly, it’s possible for some elements within a system to 10X their productivity. But that would also limit many other elements from achieving their 10X potential.

Believe me, the primary beneficiaries of toxic positivity are only the ones dumping said toxicity.

And that brings me to Duke Energy. Since it’s impossible for any utility firm to 10X their capacity through “grinding” — whatever that means — Duke Energy benefits as one of the core stocks to buy during times of uncertainty. Why? Because modern society can’t survive without energy.

Put another way, consumers will cut almost anything out of their budget before they cut utilities. And once you go there, your life can 10X but in the other direction.

Southern Copper (SCCO)

Piece of copper set against black backgroundSource: Coldmoon Photoproject/Shutterstock.com

Although some measure of volatility should be expected throughout 2022, the impact on the commodities market could be mixed. In particular, copper demand has soared since the spring doldrums of two years ago. Furthermore, while much of the trading in the spot market throughout last year has been horizontal in nature, what’s more important is that copper prices show no sign of fading.

Should this continue to be the case, Southern Copper could represent one of the stocks to buy during this uncertainty. Even with a questionable economic backdrop, the political powers in this nation are generally eager supporters of electric vehicles (EVs). Sure enough, copper is a “major component in EVs used in electric motors, batteries, inverters, wiring and in charging stations.”

Put another way, if you believe in EVs, then you also synergistically believe in copper. And of course, that lends itself to potentially higher prices of both SCCO stock and the underlying asset.

Finally, copper has become even more of a strategic asset now that China is competing aggressively with the U.S. in the EV space. Combined with its well-above-average dividend yield, SCCO stock makes for an interesting case among stocks to buy.

Stocks to Buy: Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM)

A gold bar along with some coins made of precious metals. gold stocksSource: allstars / Shutterstock.com

To be upfront, precious metals miners — or in the case of Wheaton Precious Metals, streaming companies — tend to perform best under inflationary circumstances. Under this scenario, the weakening dollar incentives investors to rotate some of their risk capital into assets commanding universal intrinsic value. That way, they can preserve their purchasing power, rotating back into fiat currencies once the opportunity is appropriate.

But to wager on WPM stock when the dollar might get stronger due to hawkish monetary policies? That seems awfully risky until you consider the precious metal complex’s other catalyst, the fear trade.

Recently, I’ve been reading reports about how thieves are digging through train cargo loaded with packages in downtown Los Angeles. Due to these activities, they’re also creating massive trash heaps around the railroad tracks. What’s more, other articles state that many folks are scavenging through the trash, occasionally finding items of value.

Let me be clear: there’s no excuse for lawlessness. At the same time, desperate economic measures are facilitating wholesale desperate actions. So I’m not necessarily quick to judge.

However, such actions may point to disturbing realities regarding our economy — meaning that WPM stock could be among the relevant stocks to buy this year.

On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare.

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B2Gold (NYSE:BTG) (TSX:BTO) shows strong production, but Mali risks persist

B2Gold’s (NYSE:BTG) strong 2021 production numbers are overshadowed by its underperforming Gold Miners Index (GDX) by nearly 20%. The drop was partly…

B2Gold’s (NYSE:BTG) strong 2021 production numbers are overshadowed by its underperforming Gold Miners Index (GDX) by nearly 20%.

The drop was partly due to a record comparative earnings year in 2020 as well as perceived risk in Mali. If recent sanctions do not impact mining operations, B2Gold’s price could start to better reflect its solid fundamentals. 

Low cost producer with strong cash position

Annual production for FY2021 was 1.04M oz. with all-in sustaining costs (AISC) between $870 and $910. AISC for FY2022 are projected to be $1,010-$1,050 due to inflationary pressures. Even so, B2G is poised to remain among the lowest cost producers in the industry.

2021 cash flow from operations is estimated at $650M. The strong cash position with virtually no debt gives the company options for exploration and M&A. $29M has been allocated to grassroots exploration for 2022, highlighting their ambition to continue to grow by drilling.

In the words of chief executive Clive Johnson, “we’ve always been very entrepreneurial, yet we’re very good at the bricks and mortar of our business…. We’ll do deals that other companies may not do.”  

Perceived Mali risks but no impact on production

Over half of B2Gold’s production comes from the Fekola Mine in Mali, where regulatory and geopolitical events have been an ongoing theme. 

There was a military coup in May which, while not impacting operations, created some negative investor sentiment regarding one of Africa’s biggest gold producers. The government’s revocation of an exploration permit for B2Gold’s Menankoto property also caused negative market reaction. Although a permitting agreement was reached in December, recent sanctions on the country imposed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) raise the possibility of supply disruptions.  

Nonetheless, Fekola exceeded 2021 production estimates with 567,795 oz. and CEO Clive Johnson maintains that it will withstand supply disruptions and meet 2022 targets.     

Source: B2Gold

Image source: b2gold.com

Underexplored jurisdictions

Part of B2Gold’s strategy is to operate and develop in jurisdictions which, while relatively underexplored, are often perceived as higher risk compared to, for instance, Canada, Nevada, or Australia. As Clive Johnson states, “a core part of our strategy is to go where others fear to tread.”

Aside from core operations in Mali, The Philippines, and Namibia, the company has exploration projects in Uzbekistan and Finland as well as a JV development in Colombia. In July 2021, they signed exploration contracts in Egypt.  

In the face of perceived geopolitical risks, Johnson highlights the solid economic foundation gold miners brought to countries during COVID and anticipates B2Gold’s experience and reputation will set it apart.     

Valuation fundamentals

B2Gold offers one of the highest dividends in the industry (4.38%). It is trading at 8.67 times earnings and has healthy current and quick ratios of 4.89 and 2.90, respectively. Price to forward earnings and price to cash flow are both below industry averages.

If perceived Mali risks begin to ease and gold continues to show a strong hand in volatile markets, B2Gold’s value could start to be better reflected in the price.

 

The above references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a licensed professional for investment advice. The author is an insider or shareholder of one or more of the companies mentioned above.

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