NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ An analyst for KeyBanc Capital Markets cut forecasts for several metals and mining companies Friday, citing an "ongoing hangover" from the credit collapse and a reluctance by local governments to invest in new projects.

KeyBanc analyst Mark Parr said underlying demand appears to be improving in September due to gains in industrial production and other markets including energy, heavy trucks and agriculture. However, the automotive market seems to have flattened this year and nonresidential construction continues to struggle.

Parr cut per-share earnings expectations in 2010 for AK Steel Holding Corp. (down 82 cents to a loss of 17 cents), Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (down 30 cents to $7.90), Nucor Corp. (down 25 cents to 75 cents), Reliance Steel & Aluminum (down 5 cents to $2.85), Steel Dynamics Inc. (down 15 cents to 80 cents), U.S. Steel Corp. (down 30 cents to 70 cents), and Olympic Steel Inc. (down 5 cents to 85 cents).

Parr maintained "Buy" ratings for Reliance Steel & Aluminum, Steel Dynamics and U.S. Steel; and maintained "Hold" ratings for AK Steel, Cliffs Natural Resources, Metals USA Holdings, Nucor and Olympic Steel.

KeyBanc's estimate reflects a continued slump in nonresidential construction demand, especially for Nucor and Steel Dynamics. It also reflects a competition at steel mills.
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