Miners Tumble as Gold Sinks

Gold spot futures sank more than 1%, below the $1,300 per troy ounce level on Tuesday, taking mining stocks down with them. VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners (ticker: GDXJ), iShares MSCI Global Gold Miners (RING), and VanEck Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) fell more than 2% each, ranking among the worst performers in exchange-traded fund land.

Morgan Stanley’s commodity team sees gold hitting $1,263/oz in 2017 and $1,258 in 2018, “a flat/benign outlook,” according to their note published Monday. Uncertain economic growth for the U.S. and China, declining trade relations and of course, geopolitical tension is expected support prices in the short-to-medium term.

Metals and mining analysts Plyush Sood and Hunter Alley updated their forecasts on large-cap miners. Sood and Alley raised their price target modestly for Newmont Mining (NEM) to $33 from $31, below its recent price of nearly $38, but left its $15 forecast for Barrick Gold (ABX) unchanged. They explained:

Newmont: The cost guidance for 2017 was lowered by ~4% or $30/oz at the end of 2Q. After our trip, we have lowered our 2018 cost estimate to $697/oz, down $36/oz from our prior estimate, and is now at the low end of 2018 cost guidance of $700-800/oz. In our model, we have made similar cost reductions to our estimates for future years. These cost cuts raise our PT by $2 to $33.

Barrick: Our team’s gold price forecasts stay nearly unchanged. We have cut our 2017 forecasts to factor in the impact of the export ban in Tanzania, but haven’t changed our forecasts for 2018 and onwards assuming that exports can resume next year. A continuing inability to export or a value leakage in the region will affect our NAV for ABX.