Can Q2 winners Standard Chartered plc, Centamin plc and Weir Group plc keep charging?

Burning question mark
Burning question mark

A perky gold price has powered demand for precious metals play Centamin(LSE: CEY) in recent times, the firm's share price gaining 42% so far during the second quarter and hitting record peaks of 130p in the process.


Gold values have advanced 7% since the beginning of April thanks to prolonged weakness in the US dollar. And while I believed Federal Reserve rate hikes later this year would prompt a rebound in the greenback, the results of last week's UK referendum have prompted me to adopt a far more cautious stance regarding potential central bank action.

And with safe-haven demand for gold currently at fever pitch, I reckon Centamin could continue to gain ground in the next quarter, particularly as the digger deals on a very decent P/E rating of 12.3 times for 2016.

Pump problems

I'm not so optimistic concerning the share price outlook of Weir Group(LSE: WEIR), however, and believe the engineer is in danger of reversing the 17% gain punched during April-June.

Like Centamin, investor appetite for Weir has been boosted by a rise in certain commodity prices during the quarter -- indeed, the Brent oil benchmark hit its highest since November just this month, at $52 per barrel.

But the threat of prolonged oversupply in the crude market, as global production ticks higher and doubts over the global economy gather steam, threatens to send black gold prices lower again, in my opinion, and with it trading sentiment towards Weir.

And with the pump-builder dealing on a hefty forward P/E rating of 21.2 times, I believe there's plenty of scope for a hefty share price markdown should news flow disappoint.

Bank in bother?

Despite the impact of last week's Brexit vote on banking shares, emerging markets-focused Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN) performed much better than most of the broader market, and especially its sector peers.

Indeed, while Barclays, Lloyds and RBS saw their share values tank 18%, 21% and 18%, respectively, on Friday, Standard Chartered saw its price fall just 3%. And a solid rebound since then means Standard Chartered has seen its stock value advance 20% since the start of April.

Still, I can't help but fear these gains are built on sandy foundations.

Firstly, Standard Chartered still has a long way to go before its restructuring plans begin to produce serious returns. And the macroeconomic slowdown in its Asian marketplaces threaten to keep revenues under the cosh for some time yet -- indeed, first quarter revenues sank 24%, to $3.3bn.

And Standard Chartered certainly can't be considered an attractive pick on paper, either -- the firm currently deals on a prospective P/E rating of 38.3 times, a reading that is seriously at odds with its high risk profile.

And of course the firm isn't immune to the dangers created by Britain tumbling out of the European Union either. I reckon savvy investors should give Standard Chartered extremely short shrift, particularly at current share prices.

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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays and Weir. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.