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A significant base may be forming in uranium stocks – seen in the Global X Uranium ETF (URA) — as Japan’s troubled nuclear energy industry passed its first major vote since the Fukushima tragedy. Many of the stocks that make up this etf are down more than 40% such as Uranium Resources (NASDAQ:URRE) and Uranium Energy Corporation (AMEX:UEC). But positive news is beginning to reemerge after three months of naysaying. Fukushima is proving nuclear is here to stay.
In the northern prefecture of Aomori in Japan (NYSE:EWJ), citizens gave a resounding vote of confidence to a conservative pro-nuclear governor. He won a third term, turning back a challenger who wanted to freeze all existing plans for the building of new nuclear facilities.
Aomori is not far from Fukushima, thus making it an ideal place to test the issue of which way Japan (NYSE:EWJ) wanted to go with nuclear power. It is interesting to note that the opponents still seek the negative interpretation of a positive development. They still live in the forty year old past of outmoded plants and don’t acknowledge the new generation of safer, more compact reactors that are being built around the globe.
The Japanese Citizenry are well aware of why they voted to go ahead with development of nuclear power generation. Those who would take the “Merkel” approach, cutting off the nuclear nose to spite the German atomic face, are naive to the realities of industrial generation in our modern society. That thinking is limited to the thought that the people who voted in favor of nuclear power based their decisions on strictly economic motivations.
It is true that Aomori is one of the poorest areas with an unemployment rate among the highest in Japan. Nuclear energy provides almost 15% of tax revenue during the current fiscal year. Moreover, they receive generous subsidies from Tokyo.
The Japanese have a saying, “Fukatsu No Seishin — We will never give up.” One wonders when the nuclear critics will awaken to the new atomic realities.
A new day is dawning on the economical generation of electricity. The superiority of nuclear power (NYSE:NLR) over other sources such as solar, wind, and coal are becoming increasingly apparent. The march towards safer new nuclear construction continues apace as the realization is that a new and improved nuclear is here to stay.
If any nation had justification for turning their backs on nuclear policies, it was Japan. This recent vote may serve to inspire a watching world. Remember that Aomori is the site of 4 of the 14 planned reactors to be built in Japan. In addition, the prefecture also has the nation’s only nuclear reprocessing plant. What does this mean to holders of uranium mining stocks? We know that there is a global shortage in the supply/demand equation of available uranium ore, especially in the United States as the Russian HEU agreement nears completion in 2013. This shortfall may increase in the immediate future, benefitting patient holders of uranium mining stocks that are near production in the United States.
Many small miners that are near term low cost and low capital producers have already bottomed and have reversed their downtrends. As the HEU agreement nears expiration in 2013, these junior uranium miners will be mining ore at the right time and in the right place.
Many uranium miners are not violating Fukushima lows. Two weeks ago we witnessed the first major accumulation of uranium stocks since March as the Department of Energy sold a large portion privately instead of dumping it on the open market. This is beneficial for the uranium spot price as the market was preparing for these auctions over the next few months. These auctions would cause the spot price to decrease significantly.
We have been witnessing a major negative divergence between price and momentum indicating a potential reversal from this five month downturn in this brutally beaten down sector. The uranium sector has usually bottomed in late June or early July. Last year, we saw a record run with these stocks as countries began to stockpile uranium ore. Gold Stock Trades would not be surprised to see something similar during the second half of 2011 when uranium once again resumes its major secular uptrend and truly reflects the long term supply shortfall. Click here for timely information on the uranium sector.
This is a guest post by Jeb Handwerger.
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