STOCK MARKETS — TSE gold stocks shine as metals prices rise

Prices on the Toronto Stock Exchange rose steadily for the first five trading days of November on relatively heavy trading. The TSE 300 composite index closed at 4,584.54, having risen 125.38 points, or 2.8%, from the previous Tuesday. Volumes were in the 70-million-share range for three of the five trading days, indicating an increased interest in the market after the previous month’s wait-and-see atmosphere.

The Bank of Canada’s rate stayed at 6.18% after 90-day yields moved fractionally at the Tuesday treasury bill auction. The Canadian dollar moved in a narrow range, closing Tuesday at US73.69 cents, down 0.66 cents for the reporting period. By press time, it was up slightly again, to US73.75 cents.

The steadier dollar and interest rates brought money back into most market sectors, but the resource stocks were strongest. The move reflected a return by foreign investors, who tend to favour resource stocks on Canadian markets. TSE gold and precious metals stocks were very strong, with the TSE gold sub-index up 771.89 points, or 8.3%, on the week to close Tuesday at 10,053.30.

Precious metals prices were up on London bullion markets, with gold rising US$2.50 between the morning and afternoon fixes on Tuesday, to US$384.80. The Wednesday morning fix was US$384.70, up $2.20 on the week. Wednesday’s fix for silver was up 5 cents to US$5.25 per oz. Platinum shook off its long losing streak to reach US$414.25 per oz., up $5.25 from the previous Wednesday.

TSE gold stocks showed good form, with Placer Dome up $3 to $32.50 and Barrick Gold up $2.62 to $33.88. TVX Gold gained 62 cents to close at $9.50, Kinross Gold was up $1 to $11, and Royal Oak tacked on 50 cents to a close of $5.50.

Except for copper, which was up 4 cents to US$1.35 per lb., base metals gave up last week’s gains on the London Metals Exchange. Nickel lost 12 cents to land at US$3.84, exactly where it started two weeks before. Lead (US30 cents) and zinc (US46 cents) were both off slightly.

The TSE’s base-metal issues were unaffected by any of this, and all moved higher in the buoyant market. The metals and minerals sub-index picked up 197.90 points, or 4.1%, to close Tuesday at 5,023.00. Inco traded heavily, but posted the smallest gain among the big miners, adding 38 cents to finish at $46.62. Other miners performed more impressively, with Cameco up $2.50 to $46, Falconbridge up $2 to $31.62 and Inmet up 88 cents to $10.38.

Montreal-listed Bresea Resources continued to see heavy buying, and rose $9.50 to $54. A share split is expected. Another Montreal junior, West Africa Mining, rose $2.50 to $7.12.

Two issues with Indonesian connections traded heavily. Goldstake Exploration was up 21 cents to 45 cents after announcing that it was close to acquiring a property in Kalimantan, along the same mineralized trend as the Bre-X Busang discovery. International Skyline Gold backed off 12 cents to $1.15 as the market digested similar news.

Tri Origin Exploration reported a 23-metre intersection of massive sulphides at its Lewis Ponds project in Australia, and was up 33 cents to $1.35. Greenstone Resources closed at $3.75, up 50 cents, following its production decision at the Mojon mine in Nicaragua. Nuinsco Resources rose 37 cents to $1.65.

Among Montreal-listed companies, Virginia Gold took on 51 cents to close Tuesday at $1.45, while associate Diabior Explorations added 14 cents to 70 cents. The two companies are exploring a large land package in the Eastmain River area of northwestern Quebec. GeoNova Explorations, also active in the area, was off 3 cents to 25 cents despite favorable news from its Lac Harbour property. Diadem Resources was another active trader, gaining 29 cents to close at $1.29.


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