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S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) mining shares have broadly underperformed the benchmark index this week.
The ASX 200 is up 1% since the opening bell on Monday.
The S&P/ASX 300 Metals & Mining Index (ASX: XMM), which includes some companies outside of ASX 200 mining shares, is down 4%.
And the pain has been felt across the sector, regardless of the metals the miners are most focused on.
Here’s how some of the biggest ASX 200 mining shares by market cap have performed so far this week:
- Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) share price is down 2.9%
- BHP Group Limited (ASX: BHP) share price is down 4.7%
- Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) share price is down 4.9%
- Mineral Resources Limited (ASX: MIN) share price is down 6.6%
- Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM) share price is down 5.0%
ASX 200 mining shares pressured by economic growth outlooks
Whether they’re predominantly after iron ore, gold, copper, lithium or a range of other metals, ASX 200 mining shares have seen the price of those metals drop this week.
There are a number of factors at work here.
First, despite promises of more economic stimulus from the Chinese government, investors are concerned the Middle Kingdom won’t achieve its growth targets this year. As the world’s top importer of iron ore, and chief market for Aussie exports, this has seen the price of the industrial metal slide this week, despite an overnight bump.
Increasing jitters about the likelihood of a recession in the United States is also putting pressure on base metal prices and by extension ASX 200 mining shares. Should the world’s largest economy slip into a recession, the effects will likely be felt across much of the globe.
Copper prices this week were indicative of those recessionary fears.
You may have heard of copper referred to as ‘doctor copper’. That’s because copper is widely used in a range of construction and manufacturing activities. When the global economy is growing, demand for copper follows suit and prices rise. The same works in reverse.
And the copper price has slipped 7% since Monday, trading at its lowest level since February 2021.