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Glencore downgraded by JP Morgan as recession fears rise

Glencore's net debt relative to underlying earnings is the highest of all the diversified mining groups.

Lumps of coal
Coal may not be the commodity to be in at the moment

Trade war risks have risen and global recession risks are rising, said JP Morgan, explaining its decision to downgrade miner and commodities trader Glencore PLC (LON:GLEN).

The broker has moved from 'neutral' to 'underweight' and slashed its price target from 330p to 260p. Glencore's shares currently trade at 227.4p, down 1.3% on the day.

Despite the share price falling by a third since the US Department of Justice revealed last month it was investigating Glencore, the shares are still unattractive, in JP Morgan's view, compared to the likes of Rio Tinto, BHP and Anglo American.

Should the global economy move closer to a recession, Glencore's highly-geared balance sheet will come under strain and that will put pressure on the dividend payment.

Coal prices are down 35% year-to-date and inventories are at the highest they have been in five years, JP Morgan observed; it is not pinning its hopes on a rally any time soon.

“Renewables are becoming cost-competitive and investors are increasingly mindful of the presence in thermal coal in asset portfolios,” the broker cautioned.

Quick facts: Glencore PLC

Price: 170.26 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £226.81 m

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