The S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index remains near historic lows despite bouncing back slightly during trading, as it jumped 1.8 points en route to a 594.31-point close. Canada’s gross domestic product dropped 0.2% in May, which brings its aggregate decline over the past six months to 0.8%, as the economy reflects weak oil prices. Meanwhile, U.S. real gross domestic product increased at a 2.3% annual rate during the second quarter, with first-time claims for unemployment benefits bouncing off a 40-year low set in mid-July.
Gold futures rallied late in the week, though December contracts for bullion still closed down US$1.90 at US$1,095.10 per oz. September contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude oil lost 2.1%, or US$1, before closing at US$47.12 per barrel, while September contracts for copper fell US1.2¢ en route to a US$2.36 per lb. close.
Junior Ascot Resources’s shares were on the rise after Ascot updated its Premier gold property near Stewart, B.C. Shares jumped 11¢ on 113,640 traded, before finishing at $1.40. On July 27 Ascot reported results from 29 infill drill holes on the Premier mine area of the property, where previous work indicates mineralization in a structural zone ranging from 30 to 150 metres thick and containing mineralized quartz stockwork, cored by one to four higher-grade quartz breccia bodies.
Highlights of the current batch of results from the company’s ongoing program include hole 15-804, which intersected 223 grams gold per tonne over 1.1 metres. Ascot hopes to outline bulk-sample potential at Premier.
On the financing front, Kennady Diamonds was near the top of the value-lost column after announcing a private placement to fund exploration and permitting activities at its Kennady North project in the Northwest Territories. Shares dropped 23¢ on 67,000 traded before finishing at $3.68 per share.
On July 29 Kennady announced a $4-million non-brokered private placement, wherein it would issue 1.2 million shares priced at $3.40 per share. The company’s program this year at Kelvin North includes exploration, delineation, infill and geotechnical drilling at the Kelvin kimberlite, as well as exploration and delineation drilling at the Faraday kimberlites.
Highbank Resources had a busy week after news the B.C. government had greenlit the large-scale Petronas US$36-billion liquefied natural gas export terminal project in the northwestern part of the province. Shares jumped 90%, or 9¢, on nearly 2 million shares traded, en route to a 19¢-per-share close.