Shrewd Investors Need To Keep Selling J Sainsbury plc, KAZ Minerals PLC & Enquest Plc!

Today I am looking at the prospects of three embattled London-quoted stocks.

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The newsflow surrounding the grocery industry continues to make for grim reading for middle-ground operators like Sainsbury’s (LSE: SBRY).

Budget outlet Aldi this week made its first steps into the online sphere with the rollout of wine deliveries, a move that is expected to lead onto a full food delivery service in the coming months. The business is also ploughing vast sums up its store expansion programme along with fellow discounter Lidl to underpin its spectacular market share grab.

Elsewhere, premium outlet Waitrose also upped the ante in recent days by stepping up marketing of its ‘Pick Your Own Offers’ programme, a scheme that allows shoppers to pick 10 items on which they will receive a 20% discount.

It comes as little surprise that the City expects Sainsbury’s to endure sustained earnings falls right through to the end of fiscal 2017. And I believe the London firm could face further pain beyond this as Britain’s price wars steadily intensify.

Copper yet to bottom

As economic data from commodities glutton China looks set to continue to disappoint, I believe investors should also steer well clear of copper miner KAZ Minerals (LSE: KAZ).

The Kazakhstan-focussed producer is steadily increasing metal production to offset the impact of falling copper values, and first production from its Aktogay project was churned out in December. KAZ Minerals hopes the asset will create 105,000 tonnes each year for 10 years from 2017.

But the company is not the only major producer embarking on ambitious capacity-raising plans, a situation that is worsening the copper market’s rising imbalance. Should demand indicators continue to deteriorate and push metal prices even lower, I reckon KAZ Minerals could find itself in serious turmoil, particularly as it already finds itself nursing a colossal $1.85bn net debt pile.

Oil producer under pressure

But copper is not the only commodity on the back foot, of course. Brent crude values toppled to their lowest since 2003 this week below $28 per barrel, prompting the broker community to break out their red markers en masse. A fall to $20 per barrel is viewed by many as a nailed-on inevitability, and some analysts are even predicting a price as low as $10.

This comes as little surprise as global inventories bulge and output from OPEC, the US and Russia continues to gallop. Indeed, the International Energy Agency warned this week that the markets could “drown in oversupply,” commenting that global oversupply could ring in at 1.5 million barrels per day in the first half of 2016.

Against this backdrop I believe investors should give fossil fuel plays like Enquest (LSE: ENQ) an extremely wide berth. The explorer advised in December that net debt should clock in at $1.55bn as of the close of 2015, a figure which is expected to rise this year ahead of maiden oil at its ‘Kraken’ North Sea asset.

Given that weak oil prices also look set to keep revenues at Enquest firmly on the back foot for the foreseeable future, I reckon the London business is a risk too far for shrewd investors.

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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.