Lithium, copper and gold stocks: Will they GO OFF IN 2024?

Bell Direct's Grady Wulff analyses the three hottest commodities to determine what their fortunes could be like next year.

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ASX resources stocks are notoriously cyclical because their fortunes are so closely tied to global commodity prices, which fluctuate wildly according to supply and demand.

Bell Direct market analyst Grady Wulff said this made it "difficult for investors to determine where the best investment opportunities are".

"Assessing the materials and resources sectors involves understanding the macroeconomic environment and impacts of geopolitical events and outlook." 

Helpfully, she has done the leg work on whether three hot minerals are set for boom or bust in 2024:

Will lithium stocks make a comeback?

A lagging Chinese economy meant global lithium prices sank substantially in 2023, which also sent ASX lithium stocks downward.

Wulff reckons the experts she's spoken to say this will have no bearing on the strong outlook for next year.

"All agreed that over time, supply will never outweigh demand and the vitality of lithium's inclusion in the green energy transition will always prove to be a tailwind for the commodity for many years to come."

What about alternative minerals that can be used to make batteries?

"Any talks of a replacement for the lithium-ion battery were quickly shut down by the experts given the long period of time it will take to get a new battery composition to market, how long it took to refine and perfect the lithium-ion battery, and sheer scale of power and efficiency delivered by lithium-ion batteries."

Extra popcorn might also be needed in the new year for lithium stock observers, as corporate takeover activity could continue.

"[This] may also expand into emerging attractive lithium markets like the Quebec region of Canada, as giants like Gina Rinehart and Chris Ellison — as well as leading producers like Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) — look to expand their respective portfolios into the lithium space."

Will copper finally have its day in the sun?

Copper was forecast to have a massive year in 2023, but that didn't quite eventuate as the global economy coughed and spluttered.

According to Wulff, those in the know are backing ASX copper shares again for 2024.

"There's no denying it had a false start, but the outlook from analysts, fund managers and those at the helm of resources companies is [that] copper is a hot commodity and key element in the energy transition," she said. 

"[This is] not just from an EV front, but for transmission efficiency, reducing emissions and its role in energy storage systems."

Gold is already at a record high

According to Wulff, the gold spot price hovered at 50-year highs throughout this year.

Despite this, experts are maintaining the belief that the precious metal should be "a key part of an investor's portfolio" into the new year.

"Gold is also an area that the experts believe will remain strong in 2024."

Motley Fool contributor Tony Yoo 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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