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Junk-Bond Defaults Growing as Pressure From Commodities Persists

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Photographer: George Frey/Bloomberg

U.S. junk-bond defaults rose to the highest level since October 2009 as depressed prices plague energy, metal and mining issuers that represent the largest contingent of debt from the riskiest companies.

There were nine defaults in May, including iron processor Magnetation LLC and Patriot Coal Corp., according to Fitch Ratings, with energy and metals and mining companies accounting for all of them. The two industries comprised 93 percent of defaults in the second quarter.