Sector movers: Miners pace gains as China eases restrictions on investment
(ShareCast News) - An unlikely combination of miners and grocers was pacing gains at the start of the week.
Supporting the former, over the weekend China eased various restrictions on foreign investments in finance, metals and construction among other sectors, effective 10 July.
In parallel, Australian broker Macquarie rejigged its price forecasts for the commodities under its coverage, trimming its price projections for copper, zinc and lead in 2017.
Yet analysts at Maquarie were not downbeat.
So while a cooling property market in China was now the risk to watch, they added that it was the first time since 2014 that the changes made to its forecasts were balanced between "bullish and bearish".
"The end to restocking through the industrial chain has pulled prices back to normality. But demand is not weak and the "global industrial recovery has held up well, especially outside China"," the analysts said.
In order of preference, its top picks among diversified miners were Glencore, South 32 and Rio Tinto.
KAZ Minerals was its favourite in the base metals space.
Food & Drug Retailers were gaining alongside, with stock in Ocado boosted as brokers weighed in with positive endorsements following Amazon.com's bid for Whole Foods on 16 July.
A double-upgrade out of Exane BNP Paribas was especially noteworthy.
The French broker raised its recommendation on the shares from 'underperform' to 'outperform', while hiking its target price on the stock from 220.0p to 325.0p.
"We remain of the view that Ocado is unlikely to be an acquisition target but we concede that the probability of an outright purchase has now increased," Exane said.
More generally, the bank pointed out that for a US grocer looking at the prospect of Amazon materially pushing on in online food, then for all its many issues, Ocado is a business potentially ready and able to help leapfrog the competition.
Sainsbury's was the other notable gainer in the space following news at the weekend that it was the preferred bidder for Nisa's 1,400 shopkeepers, in a transaction which was thought to be worth £130.0m.
Regarding the outlook for Tesco following Amazon.com's move, analysts at Credit Suisse said their negative view was unchanged.
The grocer's real estate portfolio would continue to hinder its ability to compete.
Top performing sectors so far today
Industrial Metals & Mining 2,177.33 +2.40%
Mining 14,452.80 +1.41%
Food & Drug Retailers 2,898.29 +1.15%
Beverages 19,045.04 +0.96%
Construction & Materials 6,999.15 +0.92%
Bottom performing sectors so far today
Real Estate Investment & Services 2,737.13 -1.01%
Real Estate Investment Trusts 3,028.32 -0.84%
Health Care Equipment & Services 8,486.37 -0.63%
Oil Equipment, Services & Distribution 11,977.24 -0.56%
Fixed Line Telecommunications 3,363.50 -0.24%