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China Jan-Feb industrial output shrinks 13.5%; investment plunges 24.5% – Financial Post

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BEIJING — China’s industrial output contracted at the sharpest pace in 30 years in the first two months of the year as the fast spreading coronavirus and strict containment measures severely disrupted the world’s second-largest economy, data showed on Monday.

Urban investment and retail sales also fell sharply and for the first time on record, reinforcing views that the epidemic may have cut China’s economic growth in half in the first quarter.

Industrial output fell by a much more than expected 13.5% in January-February from the same period a year earlier, the weakest reading since January 1990 when Reuters record started, and a sharp reversal from 6.9% growth in December, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

The median forecast of analysts polled by Reuters was for a rise of 1.5%, though estimates varied widely.

Fixed asset investment fell 24.5% year-on-year, compared with 2.8% predicted by analysts and 5.4% growth in the prior period.

Retail sales shrank 20.5% on-year, compared with a rise of 0.8% tipped by analysts and plunging from 8% growth in December as consumers fearful of the virus shunned crowded places like shopping malls, restaurants and movie theaters.

Chinese officials said last week that the peak of the epidemic has passed, but analysts warn it could take months before the economy returns to normal. The fast spread of the virus around the world is sparking fears of a global recession that will dampen demand for Chinese goods.

(Reporting by Kevin Yao and Huizhong Wu; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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Metal Tiger PLC has a diverse investment portfolio and a track record of success – Proactive Investors USA & Canada

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What Metal Tiger does

Metal Tiger is an AIM-listed firm that invests in mining projects and companies.

Its equities division invests in companies listed on London’s junior market AIM, the Australian Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The direct projects division focuses on the development of key projects in Botswana, Spain and Thailand.

What it owns

The company owns 62.2% of Kalahari Metals Ltd, which owns the Ngami and Okavango copper projects in Botswana. 

It also owns 3.69% Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR), which acquired former partner MOD Resources.

It also holds a 19.9% stake in Cobre, which manages the Perrinvale copper project in central Western Australia.

It also holds a stake in Pan Asia Metals, which is expected to IPO in due course.

How it’s doing

How’s it doing?

Metal Tiger recently participated in a financing for Australian company Southern Gold. The fundraising was adjusted in response to the coronavirus crisis, but Metal Tiger nonetheless followed its money to go to 17.1%

In December, Metal Tiger reported that Kalahari Metals had completed six holes for a total of 1,656 metres. These successfully proved the existence of the of D’Kar and Ngwako Pan formations that are prospective for both copper and silver.

Hole OCP06 intersected two wide zones, totalling 85 metres, with visible copper-sulphide mineralisation.

What the boss says: Michael McNeilly, chief executive

“We are very encouraged to report the intersection of wide zones of copper mineralisation from diamond drilling at KML’s Okavango Copper Project, on the Kalahari Copper Belt, in Botswana.

“Whilst we are still awaiting core assays the presence of trace copper sulphides, over a total interval of approximately 85m, may represent a mineralised halo to potentially higher-grade copper mineralisation nearby.”

Inflexion points

  • The company’s 30% stake in the T3 copper project was sold to MOD Resources Limited (LON:MOD) (ASX:MOD) in 2018 and MOD was in turn acquired by Sandfire in 2019
  • Metal Tiger now holds just over six million Sandfire shares
  • Kalahari holds interests in 12 highly prospective exploration licences in the Kalahari Copper Belt
  • Drilling on the Kalahari portfolio has encountered significant copper mineralisation

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Have $1,000? Here's My Single Best Investment Idea for April – Motley Fool

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It’s a truly wild time to be an investor. Since the stock market peaked on Feb. 19, 2020, the benchmark S&P 500 has:

  • Logged 10 of its 13 biggest single-session point declines in history.
  • Recorded its seven largest single-day point gains of all time.
  • Screamed into bear market territory twice as fast as any previous bear market.
  • Pushed lower by 30% in 22 trading days, which is about 10 times faster than it typically takes bear markets to lose 30%.
  • Recorded its largest single-session percentage loss since 1987, and its biggest single-day percentage gain since 2008.

In other words, volatility has been the name of the game, with the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) squarely to blame.

Image source: Getty Images.

Investing during bear markets is always a smart move

As of Saturday, March 28, there were almost 658,000 cases confirmed worldwide, with over 30,400 deaths attributed to COVID-19, per Johns Hopkins University. The number of worldwide cases has doubled in a week. With stringent mitigation measures firmly in place in many developed countries, economic activity has ground to a crawl, with equity markets around the world paying the price. 

However, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel in even the most dismal situations when it comes to investing. That’s because each and every stock market correction and bear market, no matter how steep or prolonged, has eventually been completely erased by a bull-market rally. This means that if you invest in high-quality businesses and hang on for the long run, thereby allowing your investment thesis to play out, you should come out a winner.

While we can’t predict when the coronavirus crash will end or if we’ve already hit the bottom, we can say with a fairly highly degree of confidence that the stock market will be higher in the future. This means now is the time to take advantage of depressed stock valuations.

The question, of course, is which top stocks to buy?

A person writing and circling the word buy underneath a dip in a stock chart.

Image source: Getty Images.

My single best investment idea for April

Although I’ve personally bought 12 new stocks during the coronavirus crash, as well as added to a handful of existing positions, one stock stands out head and shoulders above the rest. If you have $1,000 in disposable income to invest right now (i.e., not money you need to pay bills or for emergencies), then you should consider buying into what I view as my single best investment idea for April: Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG).

Intuitive Surgical is a manufacturer of surgical-assisted robotic systems. These systems help trained surgeons perform various types of soft tissue surgeries with finite precision, leading to potentially faster recovery times for patients.

As recently as last Monday, March 23, Intuitive Surgical’s share price had lost over 40% of its value from its very recent all-time high. Like many companies wading through the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, Intuitive Surgical warned Wall Street that this outbreak would have an adverse impact on its financial results. With many elective procedures being cancelled and pushed further down the road, this will, undoubtedly, hurt the company’s very near-term growth potential.

However, COVID-19 is not going to be a long-term concrete weight on the global economy. Eventually, treatment options will be found and/or an antiviral discovered, and the corporate world will return to normal. When this happens, Intuitive Surgical’s numerous competitive advantages will shine through.

A surgeon holding a one dollar bill with surgical forceps.

Image source: Getty Images.

Three no-brainer reasons you need to own Intuitive Surgical’s stock

The first clear-cut advantage can be seen in the company’s sheer number of installed systems. Intuitive Surgical ended 2019 with 5,582 systems installed worldwide, up nearly 600 from the end of 2018. None of its competitors are anywhere close to having this many precision surgical systems installed around the world. When coupled with a lofty price tag of $0.5 million to $2.5 million for the da Vinci surgical system, and the training provided to surgeons, there’s virtually no chance of client churn or lost business to a competitor.

Secondly, this is the perfect example of a razor-and-blades business model. In this instance, the razor is the pricey da Vinci surgical system. Even though these systems generated $1.35 billion in sales for the company last year, they don’t generate beefy margins given how complicated they are to manufacture.

The bulk of the company’s margins and growth are derived from its blades, which include the instruments and accessories sold with each procedure, as well as the servicing needed to keep these systems in perfect working order. Last year, $3.13 billion was derived from the combination of high-margin instrument, accessories, and service sales. As the number of da Vinci systems installed grows worldwide, the percentage of total sales being generated from these higher-margin revenue sources will climb. Or, put in another context, Intuitive Surgical’s profit growth should continually outpace its double-digit sales growth

Third and finally, Intuitive Surgical is still only scratching the surface on what its da Vinci system is capable of. The company is already a leader in gynecology and urology surgeries, but still offers a long runway to acquire market share in thoracic, colorectal, and general soft tissue surgeries. Since we’ve established that no surgical system developer has the geographic reach or rapport with the medical community as Intuitive Surgical, it’s only a matter of time before its systems are more widely used in place of traditional laparoscopic procedures.

If you have $1,000 to invest right now, I’d suggest putting it to work in Intuitive Surgical.

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Optimize Your Investment Strategy During Market Volatility – The Motley Fool Canada

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While the world faces the health, social, and economic effects of COVID-19, it can be difficult to implement your investment strategy. This is the most severe market volatility that many investors, veterans, and novices alike have ever experienced. Overall, it can feel pretty daunting to be an investor. I’d like to address a few ideas that can help you stay balanced and focused in this volatile time.

Step back and chill out

During crisis times, attempt to stay as neutral as possible. Every day, we are inundated with hundreds of new virus-related headlines. It can be overwhelming and disheartening. A steady stream of bad news can result in reactionary “fight-or-flight” behaviours. Stress-induced fight-or-flight reactions are quick and spur of the moment. People do not operate in their best cognitive, emotional, relational, and intellectual capacity when they are fearful and reactive. A great example is the global run on toilet paper, water bottles, and canned goods.

Fight-or-flight reactions are not the best way to think, live, or invest. If you feel your stress levels rise, take a break from your news feed. Instead enjoy the extra time with your loved ones, take a walk, be thankful, think positively, and choose to believe in a better future.

When considering your investment strategy, you need the peace of mind to operate at your highest level of cognitive and intellectual capacity. The stock market will likely experience volatility for some time to come. It can be easy to find your emotions riding along with the ups and downs of the market. Unfortunately, for many investors, it means they end up selling on a down day and buying on an up day. Selling out of panic often means you are selling at the wrong time. Make sure the investing decisions you make are well thought out, rational, and focused on the long term.

Make a plan

Take time to make a plan. Begin by evaluating your financial situation and investment strategy. Do you have a budget? Do you have enough savings to live off for a three- to six-month period if you needed to? What are your short- and long-term financial goals? Do you have the financial capacity to invest right now?

Then make a concerted effort to get organized. Evaluate your financial position, plan for the future, and get feedback about your plans/goals from people you trust (like your financial advisor).

Take your time

Should you have some expendable capital to invest, don’t spend it all on the next market dip. Rather, create a list of your top favourite companies. Make sure you deem them worthy to hold for a long time (five years or more). Look for companies with defensive qualities, such as large capitalizations, cash-rich balance sheets, extra liquidity, and the ability to operate now and in the future. These are companies that can become foundational for your investment portfolio. Some examples could be Brookfield Asset Management, CP Rail, Algonquin Power, BCE, or CAP REIT. Focus particularly on quality and avoid the urge to trade stocks during periods of volatility.

The COVID-19 crisis will likely play out over a number of months, if not a year. There will be continued opportunities to “buy the dips.” Consider the approach of Motley Fool co-founder, David Gardner. He suggests taking a measured approach by consistently investing a set amount every month. Gradually buy a third of a position and then add to that position later. By doing this, you slowly average your cost base.

Nobody can time a market bottom. Developing positions over time allows you to spread out your overall risk profile and enables more financial flexibility. It is best to take a nimble approach in times of crisis. If your financial circumstances were to drastically change, you can quickly pull back your investing allocation, and hopefully you will still have some safety cash to rely on.

The Foolish takeaway

The point is to avoid making fear-based, reactionary decisions. Don’t let anxiety and panic be the levers that operate your investment strategy. Be calm, develop discipline, create good habits, and methodically invest with a 10, 20, or 30-year time horizon. Looking back, you will surely remember the principals that helped you achieve your long-term financial dreams.

Canadian Stocks to Buy on the Cheap During the Market Crash

Many investors fear market crashes. However, long-term investors should embrace this crash, because bear markets can potentially allow you to make millions. So if you’re tired of reading about other people getting rich in the stock market, this might be a good day for you.

Because Motley Fool Canada is offering a full 65% off the list price of their top stock-picking service, plus a complete membership fee back guarantee on what you pay for the service. Simply click here to discover how you can take advantage of this.

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Fool contributor Robin Brown owns shares of Brookfield Asset Management. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Brookfield Asset Management. The Motley Fool recommends BROOKFIELD ASSET MANAGEMENT INC. CL.A LV.

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