The Globe and Mail reports in its Friday, July 15, edition that Citi has taken a knife to its base metal assumptions as recession worries brew. The Globe's Darcy Keith writes that Citigroup analyst Alexander Hacking says in a note: "The structural outlook for miners looks as good as we can remember based on a combination of supply challenges and demand opportunities. But macro weakness has interrupted -- and thus Citi's global commodity team has made significant downgrades to metals price forecasts. ...
Copper equities will likely struggle against falling copper prices given a lack of free cash flow support, in our view. Cost support is more theoretical than practical at this point and very sensitive to diesel." Citigroup is bearish on copper, expecting prices to fall another 15 per cent to about $6,500/ton by the first quarter of next year given new mine supply and softening developing markets demand. Citigroup cut its share target for First Quantum Minerals to $20 from $40.
Mr. Hacking says: "We downgrade First Quantum to 'sell/high risk.' We continue to like the long-term story. ... Falling copper prices will be a headwind and costs are exposed to thermal coal prices at Cobre Panama starting next year."
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