Friday trading revealed an ominous macro hedge in global equity markets. Gold mining stocks were among the top gainers for the day. Meanwhile, the most considerable losses accrued to finance companies, and major U.S. banks continued to roll downhill.
Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX:SAR), an Australian gold mining and exploration company, surged 14% Friday.
Vancouver-based SSR Mining Inc. (NASDAQ:SSRM) jumped 13.7% for the day. The Canadian gold mining company has operations in Nevada, Saskatchewan, and Argentina.
Alacer Gold Corp.(OTC:ALIAF) rallied 13.2% in Friday trading. The Canadian company with mining operations in Turkey is planning a merger with SSR Mining in a $1.7 billion buyout. The newly-formed company will be headquartered in Denver, Colorado.
Pan American Silver Corp. (NASDAQ:PAAS) saw its share price rise by 11.5% for the day. The Canadian company mines mostly silver, but also some gold, in Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina.
Shares of all three gold mining companies were among the top eight gainers in Friday trading, according to Yahoo Finance.
Finance companies were among the biggest losers during the rally in gold mining stocks. Scottsdale, Arizona-based Consumer Automotive Finance (OTC:CAFI) shares cratered 40%. It was the day’s biggest loser, but German, Mexican, and Indonesian finance companies were also among the top eight worst-performing stocks.
Shares of major U.S. banks also continued their May slide. JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) stock slumped 1.9% for the day. Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) fell 1.4%. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) shares saw 1.6% losses.
While big U.S. finance companies didn’t sustain the devastating losses of foreign banks, they’re not looking so promising to investors. Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) sold a majority of its Goldman stake in the first quarter and trimmed its JPMorgan holdings according to a filing Friday. The Fed’s semi-annual report on the financial sector warned of lasting “fragilities” in the finance industry:
The strains on households and business balance sheets from the economic and financial shocks since March will likely create fragilities that last for some time.
The stock market just bet against a banking system full of endless Fed liquidity and went long on gold mining companies that produce something Jerome Powell can’t create out of thin air.
Mining stocks rode the wave of gold’s rising spot price this week:
Spot gold rose 0.7% to $1,741.65 per ounce. During the session it hit its highest since November 2012 at $1,751.25. Bullion has risen over 2% so far this week. U.S. gold futures settled 0.9% higher at $1,756.30.
The yellow metal also saw the biggest weekly gain in three weeks Friday. Dismal economic data in jobless figures and crashing retail sales scared the spot price up. Renewed fears over U.S.-China trade tensions also ate the stock market’s lunch, while sending gold higher.
Disclaimer: The author holds no investment position in the securities mentioned above.