The S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index had trouble mustering momentum during the trading week despite promising economic news out of Canada and the U.S., as well as a surge in crude oil prices driven by heightened conflict in the Middle East. During the week the Venture lost 0.06%, or 0.54 points, en route to a 964.68-point close.
Statistics Canada revealed that the Canadian economy had returned to a trade surplus in March after posting a $1.2-billion deficit in February. Canada’s $24-million surplus was driven by higher exports in the automotive sector, as well as a 24.8% jump in natural gas exports.
Crude oil futures rose mid-week after news of heightened tension in the Middle East, with Israel threatening military action against Syria. The threats became a reality on May 2 when Israeli aircraft bombed a target near Damascus. June contracts for crude oil rose 4.2%, or US$3.90, before closing at US$96.89 per barrel. Meanwhile gold futures gradually recovered, with June contracts for bullion jumping US$5.30 before closing the week at US$1,469.95 per oz.
Gold Reserve led the value-added column following an update on the company’s La Tortuga copper-gold project in Jalisco State, Mexico. Gold Reserve announced it had a made a scheduled payment of US$125,000, pursuant to an agreement that could see it earn a 51% interest in the project. The company jumped 40¢ before closing the week at $3.40 per share.
Gold Reserve also outlined its 2013 exploration program at La Tortuga, where it is conducting airborne geophysics, and plans to drill 7,000 to 12,000 metres in 2013 over four mineralized targets.
Copper leapt out of the doldrums and gained 4.5%, or US14¢ per lb., with July contracts closing out the trading period at US$3.31 per lb. Not surprisingly, Lumina Copper and its Taca Taca project in Argentina followed suit with a 40¢ gain en route to an $8.05 close, while B.C.-focused copper explorer Colorado Resources jumped after a promising drill hole from its North ROK project, gaining 40¢ before closing out the week at $1.05 per share.
Silver producer Aurcana led the value-lost category on the Venture with a 58¢ drop leading to a $4.04-per-share close. On April 30, the company wrapped-up a share consolidation that rolled back its equity structure, giving shareholders one share for every eight shares held. The consolidation gave Aurcana increased leverage to raise equity capital with ongoing development at the company’s Shafter silver mine in Texas, but also coincided with a 12% drop in market capitalization.
TSX-V most active issues
|Blue Note Mng||BNT||10692||0.01||0.01||0.01||0|
|Graphite One R||GPH||3114||0.22||0.18||0.21||–||0.01|
TSX-V greatest percentage change
|Mill City Intl||MC||77||0.02||0.01||0.02||+||200|
|Lago Dourado M||LDM||1062||0.14||0.05||0.12||+||166.6|
|Red Pine Expl||RPX||542||0.01||0.01||0.01||+||100|
|Green Valley M||GVY||60||0.01||0.01||0.01||+||100|
|San Antonio Vt||SAN||20||0.16||0.11||0.11||–||56|
TSX-V greatest value change
|Lion One Mtls||LIO||108870||0.62||+||0.1|
|San Antonio Vt||SAN||20000||0.11||–||0.14|
|Bear Creek Mng||BCM||377689||2.41||–||0.11|