The S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index showed signs of recovery after a tough month, with a 2.8% — or 26.15-point jump — leading to a 965.22-point weekly close. Rising commodity prices and a stronger Canadian dollar contributed to the increase, while uncertainty surrounded economic recoveries in the U.S. and China.
A report released by HSBC early in the week indicated that China’s manufacturing growth decelerated in April, with a survey of 420 manufacturers revealing that the monthly Purchasing Managers’ Index declined to 50.5 from 51.6 in March, where numbers above 50 represent expansion.
In the U.S. the economic recovery fell a bit short of expectations despite an increase in consumer spending. The world’s largest economy saw its gross domestic product jump 2.5% in the first quarter, with personal consumption expenditures jumping 3.2% in the largest improvement since 2010. The 8.4% drop in government spending and investment in the first quarter dragged on the economy.
The Canadian dollar strengthened the most in just over three months, jumping 1% to US98.36¢, mainly on the back of crude oil prices, which rallied 5.3%, or US$4.67 per barrel, en route to a US$92.89 weekly close. Gold futures also recovered, with June contracts for bullion rising 3.8%, or US$53.90, before closing at US$1,461.75 per oz. Copper struggled, though the red metal gained 1.63%, or US5¢, en route to a US$3.18 per lb. close.
Copper explorer Colorado Resources was the week’s biggest winner. Its shares skyrocketed over 300%, or 50¢, before closing at 65¢ per share. Colorado saw 10.8-million share volumes after results from the first-ever drill hole at its wholly owned North ROK project, 200 km north of Stewart, B.C. Colorado cut 333 metres grading 0.51% copper and 0.67 gram gold per tonne, including 242 metres grading 0.63% copper and 0.85 gram gold from surface.
Explorer Eurasian Minerals also had a strong week, with company shares rising 25¢ before closing at $1.66. Eurasian announced that Antofagasta had picked its Iekelvare copper-gold property in Sweden as a designated project under a strategic alliance-agreement signed in February 2011. Antofagasta can earn up to a 70% interest in Iekelvare through cash payments and work commitments that result in a feasibility study.
Iekelvare is a 52 sq. km exploration licence in Norrbotten County in northern Sweden. Eurasian has completed reconnaissance geologic mapping as well as rock and boulder sampling on the property, and outlined a number of targets for follow-up exploration.
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