The S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index registered its second consecutive weekly decline during the shortened trading period, dropping 7.34 points, or 0.7%, before closing at 1,099 points.
The global economy continues to feel the impact of uncertainty in the European Union, where Cyprus finally opened the doors of its beleaguered banks after a 13-day hiatus. Socio-political issues also made headlines in Italy, which is still without a government nearly five weeks after its federal elections.
News was a bit brighter in the U.S., where home prices jumped 8.1% in the largest year-on-year increase since early 2006. Manufacturing also demonstrated signs of a sustainable recovery, with orders for long-lead factory items rising 5.7%, marking the biggest gain in the past five months.
On the flip side, the U.S. economy expanded by just 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2012, and the Labour Department reported that the four-week moving average for first-time jobless claims rose above the 350,000 level for the first time since mid-February.
Gold futures fluctuated during the week, with June contracts for bullion dropping US$10.40, en route to a US$1,597.15 per oz. close. Copper futures also had a rough week, as May contracts for the red metal lost US6.9¢ before closing at US$3.40 per lb. Meanwhile the energy sector fared better, with May contracts for crude oil jumping 3.5%, or US$3.26, en route to a US$97.20-per-barrel weekly close.
Shares of Yukon-focused gold explorer Atac Resources rolled during the week, jumping 17¢ en route to a $1.54 close. Atac gained momentum following news that gold miner Agnico-Eagle Mines is investing $13 million in the company via a non-brokered private placement totalling 9.6 million units at $1.35. Agnico will be monitoring Atac’s progress at its wholly owned Rackla gold project, 55 km northeast of Keno City. The 1,600 sq. km property package hosts a promising oxide resource totalling 2.5 million measured-and-indicated tonnes grading 4.25 grams gold per tonne for 337,500 contained oz. After the transaction Atac will boast a cash position of $27 million, which should help the company continue an aggressive exploration campaign at Rackla.
Vancouver-based silver producer SilverCrest Mines had a rough week, leading the Venture in the value-lost category after its shares dropped 24¢ en route to a $2.35 close. SilverCrest lost ground late in the trading period after the company filed an updated technical report for its La Joya silver-gold-copper project, 75 km southeast of Durango City, Mexico.
TSX-V most active issues
|Bear Lake Gold||BLG||8916||0.02||0.01||0.02||+||0.01|
TSX-V greatest percentage change
|Nevada Geo Pow||NGP||101||0.01||0.01||0.01||+||100|
|Terra Firma Rs||TFR||30||0.01||0.01||0.01||–||66.6|
|El Nino Vent||ELN||1526||0.06||0.02||0.03||–||44.4|
|Mill City Intl||MC||40||0.01||0.01||0.01||–||33.3|
TSX-V greatest value change
|West High Yld||WHY||41938||0.64||+||0.12|
|Bear Creek Mng||BCM||121330||2.79||+||0.08|
|Copper Fox Mtl||CUU||819682||0.61||–||0.08|