Monthly Metal Review
- February 2019
- January 2019
- December 2018
- November 2018
- October 2018
- September 2018
- August 2018
- July 2018
- June 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- February 2018
Mining acquisitions by Chinese firms surged by 63 percent in 2015’s first four months. China’s new rules permit most overseas deals below US$1 billion without Beijing’s approval.
The 19 euro-using countries reported the fast-est economic growth in two years in May, whilst Eu-rozone consumer prices stopped falling in April. Eu-ropean Central Bank President Mario Draghi said ECB stimuli are countering deflation and stagnation, but need time to bring inflation to healthy levels and restore confidence. The bloc’s first-quarter economy grew by 0.4 percent. Germany’s 0.3-percent growth was slightly below expectations.
France’s economy grew at its fastest since 2013. First-quarter GDP rose by 0.6 percent, twice that of the UK.
In the UK, the Bank of England cut its growth forecast, saying inflation will likely rise later this year, and that it will begin raising interest rates in about a year. It expects 2.5-percent 2015 economic growth, down from February’s 2.9-percent projection, and for next year from 2.9 percent to 2.6 percent.
The UK Prime Minister, who solidified Parlia-mentary control in May, was considering moving a referendum on quitting the EU to next year, not 2017. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said a quick referendum could relieve business uncertainty.
Most U.S. Federal Reserve officials ruled out a June interest-rate rise, owing to an early-year eco-
nomic slump and sluggish inflation that removed a need for higher rates to slow rising prices. Most agreed that labor-market improvements have slowed. Analysts predicted a late-year or 2016 rate rise.
Global banks warned that a May rally in some industrial commodities and oil came ahead of eco-nomic reality, threatening a summer price slide. Deutsche Bank, Barclays, and Morgan Stanley coun-seled investors to be wary as base metals and energy could lose to speculative flows in derivatives mar-kets.
BHP Blliton shareholders overwhelmingly ap-proved spinning non-core assets into the new South32. BHP keeps top-tier assets, focusing on copper, iron ore, coal, potash, and oil. BHP said 2016 capex should drop to US$9 billion from this year’s US$12.6 billion. With a strong balance sheet and credit, South32 takes smaller assets: non-core silver/lead/zinc, aluminium, manganese, Columbia’s Cerro Matoso nickel, and some Australian coal.
Australian and southeast-Asia miners likely face drier weather later this year. Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said a substantial early-year El Ni�o event has begun, risking worsening inland drought and higher temperatures. Rainfall tends to shift eastward during El Nino’s. They are linked to wetter weather in South and North America, affecting met-al prices.