When it comes to commodity stocks, there is perhaps no name more prolific than BHP Billiton Ltd (BHP). The Australian-based natural resource giant has operations across the world and has its hands in everything from iron ore and natural gas to aluminum and diamond mining. And while the company’s over 150-year history is certainly a testament to its success, BHP Billiton has recently fallen out of favor with commodity investors, as concerns over falling revenue have come to the forefront [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
While the global economic slowdown has impacted nearly every corner of the investable universe, one commodity group that has been hit particularly hard has been energy. Oil, gas, coal, and even nuclear power have all fallen victim to sluggish economic growth and dwindling global demand. And in its annual energy report, BP takes a closer look at how exactly the global recession has impacted the supply and demand of some of the most widely-traded commodities on the market [for more energy news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
It used to be that coal dominated energy consumption around the world, as this fossil fuel was both abundant and relatively cheap to use. But as big oil stepped in, the past few decades have seen dependence on coal cool off. In more recent years, coal has taken an even bigger hit as developed countries have attacked the fuel source for its negative environmental impact. As fracking continues to pick up steam and alternative energy sources enjoy growth, many are left wondering what the future holds for coal [for more coal news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
As markets continue to roar forward, many investors have turned their gaze toward the commodity world, wondering how this asset class will fare after a “super-cycle” filled with gains. While there are a number of important factors at play, it is widely agreed that China will have a significant impact on the future of some of the world’s most popular hard assets. What is not widely agreed upon, is whether or not the Chinese economy will hinder or enable commodities going forward, as the emerging nation has seen its economy cool off [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
When it comes to the fuel of the future, many have been touting the advantages of natural gas for our economy, while others point to alternative energies to lead us into the future. But for some reason, coal rarely seems to enter the conversation, as many feel that it is a dated and no longer dominant resource. That argument seems to be subsiding however, as many are beginning to see the advantages of adopting coal as a larger part of our future energy strategy. After suffering for a few years, however, coal may be poised for a comeback not only in price, but also in prevalence [for more coal news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].