EC HH Markets In 2016: Winners & Losers

As 2016 comes to a close, Reuters has compiled a list of the biggest winners and losers of the year from across the globe. Of course, after global equities started out the year on a weak note, in the closing weeks of 2016 computer algos investing professionals have rarely seen a stock they didn't want to buy more of. That said, currency traders with exposure to the Egyptian pound or Nigerian Naira didn't make out quite so well. And then there were the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde trades of 2016 that, after gyrating wildly throughout the year and giving a bunch of high-strung traders heart attacks, ended up the year, rightly or wrongly, roughly where they started.

First, the WINNERS:

Glencore:  After losing 70% of its value in 2015, the outlook for Glencore at the start of this year couldn't have been bleaker. But those who had the intestinal fortitude to invest in the beginning of 2016 were handsomely rewarded for their efforts. After initially shedding another 20% of its value in January 2016, Glencore bottomed-out along with oil and, after a successful $8 billion debt refinancing, rallied more than 200% this year, with a trough-to-peak rise closer to 300%.

Anglo American: After posting in 2015, similar to Glencore (down ~80%), Anglo American, the world's fifth-largest diversified mining company, took drastic action in the new year as the commodity rout deepened. In February, the company announced it would retain only 16 of its 45 core assets (dumping its coal, nickel and iron ore businesses, among others) and shed around 60% of its 128,000-strong workforce. Those who lived through the restructuring efforts enjoyed a 290% rise in 2016, and a trough-to-peak rise closer to 500%.

Mining

Bitcoin: The digital cryptocurrency is closing the year at a three-year peak. It has more than doubled in 2016, and the total value of all bitcoins in circulation is now at a record high above $15 billion. Of course, the exponential growth of Bitcoin in 2016 coincides with the steady depreciation of the Chinese yuan (the majority of bitcoin trading is done in China), the abolition of high-value banknotes in India and continued growing demand to move money across the globe quickly and anonymously.

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