In the following post, D’Amore-McKim School of Business Professor Jeffery Born shares his thoughts on the future of mining exchange-traded funds under the Trump presidency.
Recent bullish stock market activity signals that concerns of a near-term recession are low. Given the use of gold in a number of manufactured goods, it is likely that Trump’s influence will bring balance to gold prices.
Copper prices have already jumped in anticipation of stronger demand during the Trump administration. The infrastructure spending that Trump is calling for is going to spill over into demand for industrial metals, and several have already incorporated this into their prices since the election. Thus, I don’t seem much upside in copper.
The ‘sleeper’ since the election has been silver. Silver isn’t the metal of choice when fears start to rise—gold is. Silver is much more of an industrial metal, and I think it is best poised to benefit from the expansion the market expects during the early Trump administration.
Mining stocks have been hammered over the past couple of years. Many mining companies have reported losses as coal and metal prices fell. The uptick in prices will help turn things around, but current prices aren’t high enough to suggest a big boom in earnings.
I don’t think that interest rates are likely to rise substantially. Most mining companies won’t be rushing out to engage in new exploration or opening new mines, so they won’t be issuing huge amounts of new debt. If an industrial expansion occurs, most mining companies will ramp up production at their existing sites, so I don’t see interest rates playing much of role.
However, if rates spike significantly higher and choke off the expansion before it gets started, then the mining industry will be back in the doldrums again.
Learn more about the commodities that could see growth with the next administration in the U.S. News & World Report article: Mining ETFs could be huge under the Trump presidency, which quotes Born further.