The world's 100 biggest miners, by value, have gained USD 596bn in aggregate from trough levels seen late in 2008, during the immediate aftermath of the most pronounced panic produced by the so-called global markets crisis. Measured on a weighted average basis, these stocks have gained an average of 117% each, for an aggregate current total market value (capitalisation) of USD 1.1 trillion.

Indonesia's Bumi Resources (coal, gas, oil, and other energy), one of the world's most volatile stocks of any kind and any size, leads the pack, with a gain so far of 725% from the bottom, followed by Fresnillo (478%), the world's biggest primary silver producer, Teck (414%), the debt challenged diversified metals producer, Sichuan Hongda (328%), the Chinese miner of zinc, phosphates and lead, First Quantum (299%), the African copper-gold miner, Ivanhoe Mines (322%), the main showpiece of mining showman Robert Friedland, Iamgold (291%), ENRC (283%), the diversified miner (ferroalloys, iron ore, alumina and aluminium, and energy), Shanxi Lu'an (279%), a Chinese coal miner, and Eldorado Gold (262%).

The recovery varies widely; at the other end of the scale are found the likes of Arab Potash, a mere 32% above its recent lows, Anglo Platinum, Exxaro, CAP, ARM, Coal & Allied, Norsk Hydro, Kumba Iron Ore, Eramet, Qinghai, Shenhua, China's big coal miner, NMDC, and Anglo American.

While the average big mining stock has gained more than 100% in value since late in 2008, the MSCI Barra global dollar index for all equities has risen by a more modest 35%; the MSCI emerging markets USD index has, however, jumped by a more convincing 57%. The CSI 300, a broad measure of Chinese listed stocks, has gained just short of 70% and ranks as the world's best-recovered country equities index, after the Micex Russia, which was truly trashed amid some of the most shock-inspired selling seen in recent times.

Global oil stocks have gained an average of just over 50% from lows, while a selection of 80 banks listed across the world indicates an average gain of just above 51%. The KBW banks index, which measures the performance of two dozen banks across the US, has jumped by 108%.

The forward direction of stock prices remains, however, on a knife edge. While the drivers of recovery among various stock markets, and equity subsectors, varies it has become increasingly clear in recent weeks that the flow of global economic and earnings data continues to beat expectations. This, as the Bank Credit Analyst puts it, is helping to gradually heal investor sentiment.

The BCA Research global leading economic indicator and boom/bust index have both ticked higher, albeit from historically depressed readings. Similarly, purchasing managers' surveys and business confidence measures appear to have bottomed across the developed world, after free-falling late last year.

But there may be a way to go. BCA Research states that the US economy has merely shifted from falling off a cliff to sliding down a slope. The latter is certainly less terrifying and justifies the unwinding of Armageddon trades but is hardly bullish. Risk assets may continue to move higher from oversold levels over the next few weeks but sustained upside will require evidence that the spate of positive second derivative of growth indicators will turn into a meaningful recovery.

For BCA Research, the bottom line is that policymakers will need to continue acting aggressively for the recovery in risk assets to persist. We are positioned modestly in favor of reflation but prefer taking bets in fixed income spread product rather than equities due to relative value and a better yield pickup in case a sustainable upleg takes time to develop.

WORLD'S TOP 100 MINING STOCKS

Ranked here on 12-month performance

Stock

From

From

Value

price

high*

low*

USD bn

Bumi Resources

USD 0.17

-82.3%

725.0%

3.20

Fresnillo

GBP 5.38

-6.5%

478.0%

5.82

Teck

USD 13.36

-75.1%

413.8%

6.38

Sichuan Hongda

CNY 16.31

-24.1%

328.1%

2.47

Ivanhoe Mines

CAD 8.70

-31.0%

322.3%

2.81

Iamgold

USD 8.68

-3.6%

291.0%

3.17

First Quantum

CAD 50.90

-45.9%

299.2%

3.40

Shanxi Lu'an

CNY 33.79

-28.5%

279.2%

5.70

Eldorado

USD 8.61

-11.2%

261.8%

3.19

ENRC

GBP 7.02

-54.7%

283.6%

13.64

Kazakhmys

GBP 6.68

-66.0%

291.0%

5.39

Shanxi Xishan

CNY 23.50

-21.9%

236.7%

8.35

Uralkali

USD 12.61

-84.4%

299.1%

5.36

Vedanta

GBP 12.96

-53.5%

261.3%

5.44

SDIC Xinji

CNY 14.19

-4.1%

211.2%

3.85

Shandong Gold

CNY 39.63

-8.9%

200.2%

4.14

Silver Wheaton

USD 8.27

-48.1%

229.5%

2.38

KGHM Polska Miedź

PLN 64.80

-43.0%

222.7%

3.98

Tongling

CNY 15.90

-11.6%

191.2%

3.02

Shanxi Lanhua

CNY 30.23

-21.0%

192.1%

2.53

Jiangxi Copper

CNY 24.95

-31.6%

201.7%

5.98

Shanxi Guoyang

CNY 23.17

-21.7%

189.6%

3.27

Yunnan Chihong

CNY 20.30

-35.6%

200.7%

2.32

Zhongjin Gold

CNY 62.72

-12.9%

175.1%

3.31

Yunnan Copper

USD 19.96

-32.9%

193.1%

3.68

Antofagasta

GBP 6.68

-17.3%

174.1%

9.94

Rio Tinto

GBP 30.76

-57.1%

209.1%

67.03

Paladin

AUD 4.57

-32.0%

180.4%

2.13

Freeport-McMoRan

USD 48.64

-61.8%

209.8%

20.02

Sterlite

USD 9.51

-58.7%

204.8%

6.74

Polyus

USD 41.00

-48.8%

192.9%

7.82

Shenzhen Zhongjin

CNY 16.43

-28.5%

171.1%

2.47

Lonmin

GBP 15.57

-56.9%

190.2%

3.71

ERA

AUD 22.40

-10.2%

139.6%

3.19

AngloGold Ashanti

USD 32.71

-16.4%

144.7%

11.59

Hindustan Zinc

INR 547.30

-28.3%

154.6%

4.68

Western Mining

CNY 14.39

-45.4%

171.5%

5.03

Gold Fields

USD 11.29

-21.4%

143.3%

7.95

Randgold Resources

USD 51.25

-9.9%

130.0%

3.93

Buenaventura

USD 22.81

-36.0%

153.4%

6.27

Pingdingshan Tianan

CNY 26.74

-51.4%

167.4%

4.21

Zijin

CNY 8.98

-26.1%

138.8%

13.87

Franco-Nevada

AUD 25.95

-15.6%

123.3%

2.22

Yamana

USD 8.46

-50.2%

155.6%

6.20

Kinross

USD 16.40

-35.3%

139.4%

11.32

Sociedad Química

USD 32.34

-45.6%

149.2%

8.51

Hebei Jinniu

CNY 26.93

-51.7%

154.5%

3.11

CSN

USD 20.19

-61.5%

156.5%

16.02

Norilsk

USD 9.00

-71.6%

156.4%

17.16

Mechel

USD 6.95

-88.2%

171.5%

2.89

Agnico-Eagle

USD 46.34

-42.6%

122.0%

7.19

BHP Billiton

GBP 15.02

-31.9%

105.3%

136.42

Lihir

AUD 2.96

-18.7%

94.7%

5.23

Southern Copper

USD 20.46

-48.7%

124.3%

17.47

Newcrest

AUD 31.50

-15.3%

90.3%

11.37

Cameco

CAD 29.60

-33.3%

106.6%

9.92

Newmont

USD 40.95

-23.8%

93.4%

19.61

Hunan Valin

CNY 6.66

-37.8%

105.6%

2.67

Neyveli Lignite

INR 93.00

-41.7%

109.5%

3.16

Goldcorp

USD 29.19

-44.6%

110.9%

21.30

Xstrata

GBP 6.88

-72.6%

138.1%

30.43

Cliffs Natural

USD 28.29

-76.8%

139.7%

3.22

National Aluminium

INR 232.20

-59.0%

120.6%

3.03

Jinduicheng

CNY 15.55

-43.4%

104.1%

6.13

Banpu

THB 290.00

-47.5%

107.1%

2.24

Magnitogorsk

USD 0.35

-75.7%

133.3%

3.91

Yanzhou Coal

CNY 15.12

-44.0%

98.9%

6.56

Vale

USD 18.68

-57.7%

112.3%

91.53

Agrium

USD 46.96

-58.8%

112.7%

7.37

Minmetals

CNY 17.65

-53.4%

106.4%

2.77

Harmony

USD 9.40

-29.1%

71.8%

4.00

ICL

USD 9.30

-64.2%

106.7%

11.76

Impala

ZAR 166.98

-54.2%

92.9%

12.18

Barrick

USD 30.89

-41.1%

78.9%

26.97

Peabody Energy

USD 32.18

-63.7%

101.1%

8.60

Consol Energy

USD 37.70

-68.3%

103.8%

6.81

K+S

EUR 48.92

-49.7%

82.6%

10.81

Fortescue

AUD 2.48

-81.1%

113.8%

5.71

China Coal

CNY 10.91

-50.1%

81.8%

14.64

Alcoa

USD 10.36

-76.9%

108.5%

10.09

PotashCorp

CAD 112.76

-54.2%

83.6%

28.45

Mosaic

USD 44.27

-72.9%

101.8%

19.67

Silvinit

USD 400.00

-82.4%

110.5%

3.13

Pivdennyi HZK

UAH 8.20

-8.9%

34.4%

2.20

Chalco

CNY 10.63

-55.4%

80.2%

14.93

New Hope

AUD 4.29

-21.5%

41.6%

2.61

Alumina

AUD 1.33

-75.6%

94.7%

2.46

Anglo American

GBP 15.81

-57.1%

74.5%

32.04

NMDC

INR 204.35

-61.0%

77.4%

16.39

Shenhua

CNY 26.50

-50.2%

64.8%

64.09

Qinghai

CNY 58.07

-43.1%

56.9%

6.54

Eramet

EUR 179.33

-73.2%

86.7%

6.28

Kumba Iron Ore

ZAR 165.61

-53.2%

61.5%

6.38

Norsk Hydro

USD 4.75

-72.4%

74.6%

5.93

Coal & Allied

AUD 85.00

-29.2%

25.9%

5.49

ARM

ZAR 119.30

-61.1%

57.0%

3.05

CAP

CLP 9,881.60

-63.5%

49.5%

2.58

Exxaro

ZAR 65.62

-59.9%

38.1%

2.81

Anglo Platinum

ZAR 492.00

-66.8%

40.6%

14.13

Arab Potash

JOD 33.80

-65.9%

32.0%

3.98

Averages/total

-45.2%

155.2%

1107.04

Weighted averages

-54.2%

116.6%

* 12 month

Source: market data; table compiled by Barry Sergeant