Some sort of a medium-term (say five years, for argument’s sake) top is in for base metals; this morning’s announcement of a $40 billion deal merging Phelps Dodge (PD), Inco and Falconbridge means that, after almost four years of steadily rising prices, it’s time to fire up the burners under the shareholder value bonfire.
The mining industry has a long, proud and dishonorable tradition of brilliantly timing its largest investments with the absolute top of the market. I was getting concerned they’d missed this one.
Contrarily, of course, they may be due to get one right, based on the blind-pigs-and-acorns theory that characterizes my own stock-picking...ahem...talents.
[NB: Short PD. Took a bit of a hammering for a while, but it’s come right]