The financial year 2015/2016 was a tale of two halves: July to December 2015, miners were capitulating. January to June 2016, miners not only turned but put on a strong positive performance. This was led by gold equities, which were up 86.6% in the second half alone, and then there was daylight between ASX gold stocks and the next best sectors. This performance maps a flip in sentiment from 2015 to 2016: miners flipped from being "risky" and "irresponsible", to being "cheap" and "rational". Interestingly a great deal of the risk sentiment was attached to balance sheet and dividend policy concerns towards the world's major miners. Having slashed dividends, investors concerns about finances softened and they could once again look at upside in the sector. The shift from negative to positive sentiment marks the change from bust (2015) to early stages of the new boom (2016 onwards).
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