U.S. stocks ended the holiday shortened Dec. 24–28 trading week in the red as certainty that a deal will be made to avoid the fiscal cliff wavered.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell five sessions in a row, losing 253 points, or 1.9%, in the week to finish at 12,938.11. The S&P 500 Index dropped 28 points, or 1.9%, to 1,402.43. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 61 points, or 2%, to 2,960.31. The Philadelphia Gold and Silver Index stayed flat at 160.62 points, similar to the spot price for gold, which closed at US$1,656.30 per oz.
On Jan. 1, U.S. lawmakers reached a deal to prolong Bush-era tax cuts for families that made below US$450,000 a year and delay spending cuts that could have likely pushed the country back into a recession, bringing relief to investors and a boost to global markets.
For the last week of 2012, the biggest percentage gainer was Western Copper and Gold, adding 36% to close at US$1.28 a share on no news. On Dec. 21, the Vancouver-based firm said it closed a royalty agreement with 8248567 Canada Limited for its Casino copper-gold-molybdenum project in the Yukon, where the buyer cancelled its 5% net profit interest royalty in the project and paid Western US$32 million for a 2.75% net smelter return royalty.
Gold majors Barrick Gold, Newmont Mining and Goldcorp were among the top value gainers, each adding less than US65¢ to finish roughly at US$34, US$45 and US$35 per share, respectively, also on no major news.
On Dec. 31, Quebec-based Eastmain Resources announced it closed a $3 million private placement with Goldcorp, where the major bought 3 million flow-through shares at $1 apiece. Goldcorp now owns 9.9% of Eastmain. The proceeds will be used to advance Eastmain’s early-stage projects in Quebec, including the Éléonore South property, located near Goldcorp’s Roberto gold project.
Alcoa, the world’s leading producer of aluminum, was the week’s most actively traded stock, with 48.9 million shares changing hands. On Dec. 20, the company said its Alcoa Power and Propulsion unit signed a long-term contract with Siemens Energy to provide blades and vanes for various industrial gas turbines, without specifying the terms.
Alcoa ended the Dec. 24–28 week off US7¢ at US$8.50 per share.
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