April 1, 2009
Steel Company Shares Rise On Positive Economic Signs

NEW YORK — Shares in U.S. steel companies rose on Thursday, a result of positive signs of economic recovery in the United States, analysts said.

The U.S. government announced a rise in durable goods orders and new home sales, while the finance director of mining giant Rio Tinto, said the crash in metals prices may have nearly run its course.

"There is a case, you can believe, for a recovery in the second half," Guy Elliott told a mining conference in Singapore. "We are not far away from the bottom.

"We cannot expect that metal prices and other indicators are going to be immune from such a huge effort that the governments are making, particularly in China, but also in the U.S," he said.

The comments on China's infrastructure investment and the U.S. data were viewed as positive, the analysts said. Before the downturn in the global economy during the fourth quarter, China's economic growth was fueling a boom in steel and metals.

"Maybe some people believe the U.S. economy is turning around," said analyst Charles Bradford, of Bradford Research.

But he said steel prices were still coming down and there was a rumor that Russia was shipping a large amount of steel to China at low prices.

In early afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange, U.S. Steel's stock was up 5.9 percent at $24.85, Nucor's rose 5.7 percent to $41.29 and AK Steel was 3.1 percent higher at $8.25. On the Nasdaq, Steel Dynamics shares rose 8 percent to $9.81.

Source: Reuters, March 26, 2009

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