Why did the South32 share price beat the other ASX 200 miners today?

Female miner smiling while inspecting a mine site with another miner.Female miner smiling while inspecting a mine site with another miner.

Well, today has been quite an interesting day for the South32 Ltd (ASX: S32) share price. Soon after market open this morning, South32 shares shot up, climbing as high as $4.51 a share (up more than 2%). That stood in stark contrast to the broader S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO), which opened deep in the red and has been steadily falling all day. The ASX 200 has now finished up the trading day down 1.75% at well under 6,950 points.

Saying all of that, South32 did end up falling back to earth. After climbing as high as $4.51 a share, the diversified miner is now back at $4.37 a share at the end of today’s trading session, down by 0.91%. But the strange thing is that most other ASX mining shares, especially the larger ones, had a far worse time of it today.

Take BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP). BHP shares ended the day down by 1.55% at $44.95 each. Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) plunged by 2.76%. It was a similar story with Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO), which lost 2.09%.

Energy share Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) was a standout loser, dropping by more than 3%. Even the ‘safe haven’ gold shares couldn’t save the resources sector. ASX 200 gold miner Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) lost 2.75% today

So South32’s performance seems very mild compared to these sobering moves.

But why have investors spared South32 from the worst of the falls today?

What spared the South32 share price today?

Well, it’s hard to say. There’s been nothing out of South32 today, save for a share buyback notice. The company has consistently been executing share buybacks, which could lend support to a company’s share price.

But South32 has also been the recipient of some broker love this week, which could also be helping the market to put a floor under the company’s shares. As my Fool colleague James covered just yesterday, broker Morgans recently called South32 one of its “best ideas”. Morgans currently rates South32 as an “add”, with a 12-month share price target of $6.10. That’s almost 40% above its current share price.

This optimism comes from what Morgans sees as South32’s diverse portfolio of metals and minerals, many of which are “ESG-friendly”. It’s also expecting big things from the company when it comes to dividends over the coming few years.

So perhaps it was this bullish thesis that steadied investors’ hands when it came to the South32 share price today. No doubt such an optimistic share price prediction was warmly received by existing shareholders.

The post Why did the South32 share price beat the other ASX 200 miners today? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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