Coronavirus Round-Up: China Abandons GDP Target

- May 24th, 2020

As the new week kicks off, here’s a round-up of the Investing News Network’s top stories last week covering the coronavirus pandemic.

As a new week kicks off, the coronavirus outbreak impact on the economy continues to hit hard, with China now omitting its GDP target goal for the first time since 1990.

During the first quarter of the year, the Chinese economy contracted 6.8 percent year-on-year, a decline not seen in decades.

Last week, Latin America surpassed the US and Europe in number of new cases, with Mexico and Brazil seeing the highest number of deaths, more than 6,000 and 20,000 respectively.


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The outbreak has now seen more than 5.12 million people get infected, with the death toll reaching over 330,000 as of May 21. Of the more than 2.37 million closed cases, over 2.04 million have recovered.

To keep you up to date with what’s been going on in the mining industry related to COVID-19, we’ve put together a round up of the Investing News Network’s top stories last week covering the pandemic. All information and data is current as of May 21, 2020.

INN’s COVID-19 coverage: Top stories this week

1. Brien Lundin, Chris Marcus: Is it Silver’s Time to Shine?

As countries around the world take measures to stimulate their economies in the wake of COVID-19, interest in precious metals is increasing.

Investors typically gravitate towards gold and silver, but silver often comes with a warning attached — it’s known for being more volatile than gold, which can scare off those searching for a safe haven.

To help investors navigate the market, Brien Lundin, editor of Gold Newsletter, and Chris Marcus, founder of Arcadia Economics, recently joined the Investing News Network for a conversation on what investors should know about silver.

2. Metals Focus Delivers Optimistic PGMs Outlook — with a Few Caveats

During a platinum-group metals (PGMs) webinar, Metals Focus PGMs analyst Wilma Swarts explained that the precious metals consultancy is delivering its forecasts with the expectation that the COVID-19 pandemic will be under control in the coming months.

However, if the pandemic cannot be contained, the firm’s predictions will need to be reconfigured to account for the unprecedented uncertainty.

As it stands now, total platinum supply is expected to fall in 2020 by 1.1 million ounces year-over-year.


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3. Citi: Cautious Zinc, Lead Outlook for Now, Positive Medium Term

Base metals kicked off the year on a high note, with both zinc and lead trading above US$2,000 per tonne as the US-China trade deal seemed to be on its way.

But the coronavirus hit the world in the first quarter of the year, bringing uncertainty to all levels of society and high volatility into every market. Even now, with the global economy entering a new phase as lockdowns are eased and stimulus plans are worked out, it still remains tough to predict how base metals may perform for the rest of the year.

At a zinc- and lead-focused webinar hosted by Fastmarkets, Oliver Nugent, commodities strategist at Citi, said he is constructive on the base metals complex in the medium term, but is cautious in the near term.

INN’s COVID-19 coverage: The bright side

An Oxford University experimental coronavirus vaccine is “progressing very well,” with an aim to now immunize more than 10,000 people in the UK to determine if it works.

If all goes smoothly, “it’s possible as early as the autumn or toward the end of the year, you could have results that allowed use of the vaccine on a wider scale,” predicted Andrew Pollard, head of the Oxford Vaccine Group.

In commodities, gold was trading above US$1,700 per ounce with silver breaking the US$17.50 per ounce early last week. In base metals, copper continued to climb, reaching US$5,300 per tonne by the end of the week.

More COVID-19 coverage from INN

Click the links below for more of INN’s commodity-specific coverage of COVID-19:

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article. 


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