Stocks to watch at the open

Shareholders are calling for the head of Newcrest chief Don Mercer, while domestic mining services companies start to feel the squeeze from US uncertainty.

Newcrest Mining (NCM)

Major shareholders of Newcrest Mining want a departure date for chairman Don Mercer. While the Australian Shareholders Association called for Mercer to stand down in June, things are intensifying at the gold miner, with the potential departure of three other board members who make up the Audit & Risk committee.

Proxy adviser ISS is advising clients not to re-elect three of the four Audit & Risk committee members – committee Chairman John Spark and committee members Tim Poole and Rick Lee.

Gold continued its up and down trading overnight, losing $US3.74 to close down at $US1,319.36 suggesting a tough day for gold miners in general.

Mining services

As financial markets continue to digest the ongoing uncertainty in the US, domestic mining services companies are starting to feel the pinch.

The risk-off attitude is starting to take place with the preference being for shares that are able to deliver a steady stream of dividends regardless of global financial conditions or the business cycle. It also doesn’t help that commodity prices have been jumpy, which is limiting new projects that could be in the pipeline for miners (see Brendon Lau's A mining services revival?).

The past week has seen NRW Holdings (NWH) lose 11.22% and Monadelphous Group (MND) fall 11.32%.

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