Fear over the escalating diplomatic crisis between the US and North Korea has propelled demand for safe-haven assets like precious metals higher in recent sessions.
Gold recently rose to within a whisker of the psychologically-critical $1,300 per ounce marker, the highest since mid-June. And silver values have also stepped to their highest for around two months, the dual-role metal moving back above $17 per ounce in end-of-week trade.
The mounting concern over conflict on the Korean peninsula has played into the hands of London’s quoted gold and silver miner producers, including FTSE 100 constituent Fresnillo (LSE: FRES) whose share value has also leapt to its highest since June this week.
And the stand-off between Washington and Pyongyang looks unlikely to calm down any time soon. On Friday President Trump’s no-nonsense dialogue went up another notch, the commander-in-chief Tweeting that “military solutions are now in place… should North Korea act unwisely.”
Not only is the intrigue surrounding Trump’s White House, both at home and abroad, likely to keep the nerves of traders and investors under some strain, but a number of broader geopolitical and economic concerns across the globe, including fears that stock markets are now looking overbought, should also provide gold and silver with sustained support.
Against this backcloth, the City expects earnings to march higher at Fresnillo, helped by soaring production levels (the Mexican digger saw total silver volumes advance 11% between January-June, to 28m ounces).
The 19% profits rise currently forecast for 2017 leaves the business dealing on a forward P/E ratio of 30.5 times, sailing above the British blue-chip prospective average of 15 times. However, I reckon the strong possibility that precious metals values could really take off in the near future still makes Fresnillo worthy of serious glances right now.
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The aforementioned washout across share bourses has seen Taylor Wimpey (LSE: TW) continue to stall following July’s healthy advances. Still, I reckon the homebuilder remains an attractive pick right now, particularly given its rock-bottom valuations.
An expected 4% earnings rise in 2017 leaves the Footsie play dealing on a forward P/E multiple bang on the widely-regarded bargain watermark of 10 times. And Taylor Wimpey also offers a lot for dividend chasers to get excited about, City predictions of a 13.2p per share reward for this year creating a monumental 7% yield.
Those expecting the firm to generate the stunning profits growth of previous years are likely to end up disappointed as clampdowns on the buy-to-let sector, combined with the impact of political and economic strife on many would-be purchasers’ appetite, dents home sales. And rising construction costs are likely to dampen bottom-line growth across the sector.
Still, I am convinced the likes of Taylor Wimpey should remain reliable earnings generators in the years to come as supportive lending conditions keep buying activity for first-time purchasers ticking over. And government failure to address the UK’s shortage of new houses should prevent property values slumping.
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Royston Wild owns shares in Taylor Wimpey. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.