US markets post marginal gains, Oct. 30-Nov. 3

The unemployment rate in the U.S. fell to 4.1% to a new 17-year low over the reporting period. Spot gold ended the week at US$1,269.40 per oz., down 0.30%, or US$3.80 per oz. gold. The Philadelphia Gold and Silver Index finished at 80.72, in a 1.04% weekly drop. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.45% to 23,539.19 while the S&P 500 Index advanced 0.26% to 2,587.84.

Arch Coal reported third-quarter financial results that lifted the company’s shares to US$79.38, in a weekly US$7.08 gain. Arch Coal posted net income of US$68.4 million, or US$2.83 per diluted share, up from US$37.2 million, or US$1.48 per diluted share in the second quarter. Revenues reached US$613.5 million for a 12% sequential increase, which reflected strength in coking coal prices as well as strong performances in the company’s Powder River basin and other thermal segments. The company also moved forward with its share repurchase program. During the third quarter, Arch Coal bought 2.2 million shares of common stock, representing 9.1% of the company’s shares outstanding, at a total cost of nearly US$167 million at an average US$75.49 per share. On Oct. 31, the company’s board approved an incremental US$200 million to the share repurchase program, bringing the total authorized amount to US$500 million. At the end of September, Arch Coal’s cash and short-term investments totalled US$453 million and debt totalled US$238 million.

Shares of Kirkland Lake Gold climbed US$1.25 to US$13.16 on the back of a strong third quarter of operating and financial results. Adjusted net earnings totalled US$30 million, or US21¢ per basic share, compared with US$18.9 million, or US16¢ per share, in the same quarter last year, and US$35.6 million, or US17¢ per share, in the second quarter of 2017. Production during the quarter reached 139,091 oz., an 80% increase from the comparable 2016 level. The company is now targeting full-year consolidated production of 580,000 to 595,000 oz. gold; operating cash costs of US$475 to US$500 per oz.; and all-in sustaining costs per oz. gold sold of US$800 to US$825. It also reported that reserves more than doubled at Fosterville in Australia to 1.03 million ounces.


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