U.S. indexes snapped five weeks of gains after terrorist attacks in Brussels, which left 35 dead and hundreds injured, shook global markets. The S&P 500 Index fell 0.7% to 2,035.94 ahead of the Easter weekend. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq retreated 0.5% to 17,515.73 and 4,773.50. The Philadelphia Gold & Silver Index plunged 5.2% to 67.48, reflecting the drop in gold prices. Spot gold tumbled 3.1% to US$1,216.20 per oz. The May contract for crude oil stayed flat at US$39.49 per barrel. The U.S. Dollar Index dropped 1.2% at 96.27.
It was a tepid week for stocks. Minas Buenaventura led the percentage and value winners, gaining 6.4%, or 39¢ per share, to close at US$6.47, as analysts upgraded their targets. Based on the consensus of 11 brokerage firms, the average price target for the Peruvian precious metals miner is US$7.91 per share, with a “hold” rating.
St. Louis-based coal miner Peabody Energy gained 2.4% to close at US$2.56 per share, after plunging 62% the week before on bankruptcy concerns, as it missed interest payments on its senior notes, kicking off a 30-day grace period. Peabody’s spokesperson Vic Svec stated that the company and coal are “going to be around for a long time,” easing fears that the miner would default on its debt.
Freeport-McMoRan was the most traded stock on no major news, with 216 million shares changing hands. It dipped 65¢ to US$10.11 per share.
Vale trailed in second, with 135 million shares traded to close down 13¢ at US$4.04 per share. On March 19, Vale’s former CEO Roger Agnelli, who transformed the Brazilian company into the world’s largest global iron ore producer, died at the age of 56 when his private plane crashed in Sao Paulo. The crash also killed his wife, two adult children, their spouses and the pilot. Agnelli served as the CEO from July 2001 to May 2011.
Iamgold lost 7¢ to finish at US$2.07 per share. On March 21, the miner announced it sold 135,148 oz. bullion at an average price of US$1,260 per oz. for US$170.3 million during the first quarter of 2016 to strengthen its balance sheet. During that time, it also raised $41 million through a flow-through financing, where it sold 12 million shares at $3.41 apiece to develop its Westwood mine.