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TheStreet Open House

Metal and Mining Stocks: Winners and Losers

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Gold Reserve (GRZ) and Great Northern Iron Ore Properties (GNI) were the only stocks to end in green this past week. The laggards were Mines Management (MGN), Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) and AK Steel Holding (AKS).

Gold Reserve topped the advancers' list last week, up 3.7%. Great Northern Iron Ore Properties followed advancing 0.1%.

Mines Management shed 18.1%, at the helm of losers this past week. With China's November manufacturing PMI easing to a 32-month low of 48 from 51 recorded in October, cement and coal companies faced a pushback. A chief economist at HSBC China indicated that this would lead to an 11% to 12% contraction in industrial output over the next few months.

Coal stocks Alpha Natural Resources and James River Coal (JRCC) declined 17.7% and 14.1%, respectively. Zacks Investment Research has downgraded JRCC to underperform from the earlier neutral rating. Meanwhile, Australian thermal coal prices, benchmark for Asia, slipped to $110.85 per ton from $113.6 per ton on the Newcastle Coal Spot Australia Index in the earlier week. Additionally, market speculation that Beijing would intervene to cap spot coal prices at $125 per ton has affected coal stocks adversely.

AK Steel Holding plummeted 17.3% last week. Among others, Patriot Coal (PCX) and Westmoreland Coal (WLB) slumped 13.8% each. After a rating downgrade to underperform from neutral at Zacks Investment Research, Arch Coal (ACI) trimmed 8.5% at close last week.

U.S. Gold (UXG) dipped 13.7% after gold prices crashed midweek on flagging China economic data. Gold prices were down 0.6% between Nov. 24 and Nov. 25.

Steel stocks ArcelorMittal (MT) and U.S. Steel (X) lost 13.5% and 13.2%, respectively at close last week. Iron ore spot prices are on a downtrend as key consumer China is likely to face a squeeze down in its appetite. Additionally, JP Morgan Chase has lowered its iron ore price forecasts by 10% to 15% for the next five years, in light of shrinking demand.

Vale (VALE) tumbled 11.8% after JP Morgan cut its forecasts for iron ore prices.

Weak industry fundamentals and the overall slump in the metal and mining sector triggered a slide in industry majors Peabody Energy (BTU), Rio Tinto (RIO) and BHP Billiton (BHP), down 10.7%, 10.5% and 8.2%, respectively .

Silver prices slipped 1.1% to $31.26 per ounce at close this past week. Stocks like MAG Silver (MVG) and Endeavour Silver (EXK) dipped 10.4% and 8.9%, respectively.

Aluminum prices plummeted 3% last week to 52-week lows of $1,981.75 per metric ton. Aluminum stocks like Alumina (AWC), Kaiser Aluminum (KALU) and Aluminum Corporation of China (ACH) erased 13%, 9% and 7.2%, respectively.

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