A stock that trades for less than 40 cents a share is proving to be a drag on the Market Vectors Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF (NYSEArca: REMX).
Shares of Molycorp (NYSE: MCP), once one of the highest-flying rare earths miners, are lower by 35.9% Thursday after the company announced it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The announcement was made after the close of U.S. markets Wednesday.
REMX, which tracks the performance of companies that mine, refine and manufacture rare or strategic metals, came into Thursday with an almost 4% weight to Molycorp, making the stock 15th-largest of the ETF’s 22 holdings, according to Market Vectors data.
It is likely that REMX will eventually part ways with Molycorp because the stock is headed for over-the-counter trading where it will trade under the ticker “MCPIQ.” In a separate statement, the Colorado-based company said it “expects to be notified by the NYSE via delisting letter over the next several days.”
To its credit, REMX has somewhat endured Molycorp’s tumble this year as the ETF is lower by 5.2% compared to 58.3% plunge in shares of Molycorp. In March, Molycorp warned “may not be able to continue as a going concern,” unless the company restructured debt. The producer revealed that falling prices and production slowdowns have diminished its ability to meet obligations.
Rare earth producers have been weakening after China announced cuts to its export quotas, forcing other countries to build up their own projects.