MARKET REPORT: Mining shares mayhem digs a hole for blue chips


Miners weighed on the stock market in London as the FTSE 100 fell for a fifth session in a row.

Copper giant Antofagasta fell 2.8 per cent, or 39.5p, to 1393.5p, Glencore was down 4.8 per cent, or 24.2p to 481.3p, Rio Tinto dropped 1.9 per cent, or 110p, to 5580p and Anglo American slid 2.6 per cent, or 94.5p, to 3518.5p.

The sell-off came as copper fell 1 per cent and aluminium hit a six-month low over concerns about global economic growth.

Mining slump: London-listed copper giant Antofagasta fell 2.8%, Glencore was down 4.8 %, Rio Tinto dropped 1.9% and Anglo American slid 2.6%

The mood was not helped by what the authorities in Beijing referred to as a ‘ferocious’ Covid outbreak in China’s capital – sparking fears that further restrictions may be on the way.

Ferrexpo, one of the world’s leading iron ore pellets producer with operations in Ukraine, took an even bigger hit.

The FTSE 250 commodity trading and mining company has been hammered by the war and, with Ukraine’s Black Sea ports closed, it has diverted sales to European markets via the country’s rail network and its barging operations.

The company said the rail network has suffered ‘periodic disruption, with the national rail operator having to consistently repair and reopen damaged sections of the railway network following Russian air strikes’.

It has now suffered a further setback, with a Russian missile strike in south-west Ukraine hitting its barging operations, which accounted for 0.8million tonnes of iron ore deliveries last year.

Ferrexpo also said it has produced 4.4million tonnes of iron ore pellets so far this year – down 8 per cent on the same period last year. Chief executive Jim North said the company has now lowered its production schedule for the summer.

‘Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has created a changeable and unpredictable situation,’ he said. Shares fell 6.6 per cent, or 10.8p, to 153.3p.

Stock Watch – Devolver 

Sharesn video game maker Devolver Digital plunged after a poor start to the year.

The Texas-based company said sales of new games were ‘slower than expected’ in the first five months of 2022.

It also warned of rising costs ‘due to inflation, headcount and marketing’. It expects revenues for the year of between £107million and £115million – up 30 per cent on the previous year. 

Profits are expected to rise 15 per cent to as much as £26million. Shares crashed 50.6 per cent, or 69p, to 67.5p.

Faring better was the blue-chip silver miner Fresnillo as its shares rose 5.6 per cent, or 41.6p, to 790p.

‘The mood out there is pretty grim, with the relief rally seen in late May starting to feel like a distant memory,’ said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.

‘You know things are bad when the best performer among the UK’s top stocks is precious metal producer Fresnillo as investors reach for traditional safe havens.’

The FTSE 100 index slid 1.5 per cent, or 111.71 points, to 7205.81, and the FTSE 250 dropped 2.6 per cent, or 513.11 points, to 19,160.21.

Such losses filtered across the globe, with Frankfurt down 2.4 per cent and Paris off 2.7 per cent.

Wall Street continued to be plagued by inflation fears, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 2.8 per cent, the S&P 500 off 3.9 per cent and the tech-dominated Nasdaq 4.7 per cent lower.

It was another tough session for travel stocks as chaos in the airline industry, worries about Covid in China and the cost of living crisis took their toll.

In the top-tier, Intercontinental Hotels (IHG), the owner of Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza, was down 7.9 per cent, or 371p, to 4310p and British Airways-owner IAG fell 4.6 per cent, or 5.48p to 115.02p.

This was also the case for the mid-cap firms as Wizz Air sank 9 per cent, or 206p, to 2081p and the holiday giant TUI dipped 7.4 per cent, or 12.75p, to 158.65p.

AIM-listed Scancell rose 2.9 per cent, or 0.38p, to 13.13p after it treated the first patient in its Modi-1 cancer treatment clinical trial at Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College NHS Trust.

Tekmar crashed 38 per cent, or 14.8p, to 24.2p after it said it could sell the company as it struggled to recover losses during ‘challenging global trading conditions’. 

The firm – which makes undersea power cable coatings for wind turbines – said that in its half-year results for the six months to the end of March, revenue fell to £13million from £13.9million a year earlier while its losses widened to £1.8million from £1.1million.

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