STOCK MARKETS — Gold issues sink on Toronto market

The Toronto Stock Exchange traded heavily but went virtually nowhere in the period Sept. 4-10, closing at 5,147.12, up 4.77 points from the previous week. The average daily volume was in the range of 80 million, with the manufacturing and transportation sectors leading the gainers, and golds performing poorly.

The Canadian dollar was five basis points lower against its American counterpart, trading at US72.95 CENTS on Sept. 10, though it continued to show strength against other major foreign currencies.

Gold fell drastically on Sept. 10, following an announcement that the International Monetary Fund was planning to sell off part of its gold holding. After plunging to US$382.45 per oz. on the morning of Sept. 10, it recovered to US$383.15 for a loss of $2.80 on the week. Platinum was also affected by the bearish mood, descending $2.25 to US$392.75 per oz., and silver lost 6 CENTS to finish the report period at US$5.09 per oz. Weakness persisted in palladium, which lost $3.15 to finish at US$123.85 per oz.

TSE gold and precious metals stocks suffered a sell-off during the report period, closing at 11,368.95 — off 448.45 points, or 3.9%. Placer Dome was off $1.20 to $32.10, while Barrick Gold slipped $1.15 to $36.40. Bema Gold was busily traded, with 6 million shares changing hands, and was 60 CENTS lower

at $9.85.

Agnico-Eagle Mines settled back $2.50 after last week’s gain of $1.45.

Takeover speculation appeared to

be unfounded. KWG Resources was

off 45 CENTS to $9 and Teck B fell $1.55

to $27.30.

The base metals were lower over the past week, with copper off 4 CENTS to US87 CENTS per lb., zinc off 1 CENTS to US45 CENTS, and lead, at 37 CENTS, down negligibly. Nickel, despite weak fundamentals, continued a modest recovery, picking up 5 CENTS this week for a price of US$3.42 per lb.

The metals and minerals sub-index lost 70.62 points to close at 5,180.91 on Sept. 10. Westmin Resources, at 4.6 million shares, was the volume leader.

The mid-size miner fell $1.40 to $6.25 on the news that it would buy Placer Dome’s 38% stake in Gibraltar Mining. The market thought it was excellent news for Gibraltar, pushing the stock to $7.60, a jump of $1.55.

Other miners were generally weaker, with Inco down 45 CENTS at $43.65, Falconbridge off 65 CENTS at $29.30, and Cominco 5 CENTS lower at $30.20.

Among the TSE juniors, Gold Reserve was $8.40 higher at $20.20. The company released results from its Las Brisas gold property in Venezuela and also received the Venezuelan government’s approval for its application for the hard-rock mineral rights to the deposit. Heavy trading continued in NovaGold Resources, which was off 1 CENTS to close at 34 CENTS.

Bre-X Minerals was up 75 CENTS to close at $25.15. Investors may be anticipating a deal in the near future, following the appointment of merchant banks Republic National and J.P. Morgan as advisors to help “negotiate the most advantageous terms possible with a potential joint-venture partner.” Montreal-listed juniors Acabit Exploration and Auriginor Exploration, which operate from the same office, issued statements that management was not aware of material changes accounting for trading activity. Auriginor, which rose 13 CENTS to 63 CENTS, is awiting results of magnetic surveys on its Gemstone property and has a reserve calculation under way at its Eastgate property; both are in Nevada. The company also has a joint venture under way on the Labrador properties of Palace Exploration, which was actively traded on Montreal this week, rising 4 CENTS to 13 CENTS on a volume of 3.2 million shares. Acabit was up 47 CENTS, closing at $1.97.


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