The S&P TSX Venture Composite Index rallied late in the week to close relatively flat during the Jan. 26-30 trading sessions, as it lost around 0.2% before finishing at 676.81 points. Mining and energy stocks trended upward despite discouraging economic reports in North America.
Statistics Canada announced that Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) declined 0.2% in November, largely due to weakening manufacturing, mining and energy sectors. The U.S. also reported a GDP decline in the fourth quarter following weak business spending and a wider trade deficit.
Gold futures fell back from near six-month highs, as April contracts for bullion dropped 1.1% or US$14.40 en route to a US$1,279.20 per oz. close. Crude oil managed a slight recovery, with March contracts for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) jumping 5.8% or US$2.65 before finishing the week at US$48.24 per barrel. Meanwhile, March contracts for copper closed flat at US$2.49 per lb.
Junior Gold Reserve sat near the top of the value-added category during the trading period after updating the market on its legal proceedings against the Venezuelan government. Shares gained $1.06 on 304,000 shares traded before closing at $3.90 per share. Gold Reserve is embroiled in international appeal hearings following a judgment by the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) that determined Venezuela must pay US$740 million for seizing the company’s advanced Brisas gold-copper project in 2008.
On Jan. 29 Gold Reserve reported that the Paris Court of Appeal had dismissed the Venezuelan government’s request to stay the execution of the award pending the outcome of an application for annulment. The company indicated that judgment was of “particular significance” as it was “rendered following a full hearing of the parties, by a court of appeal level, recognized internationally for its expertise on arbitration matters.”
Explorer Kennady Diamonds topped the value-lost column following exploration results from its Kennady North diamond project contiguous to the Gahcho Kué diamond mine currently under development by De Beers. The junior’s shares dropped $1.11 to $3.64. Kennady estimates that the Kelvin-Faraday kimberlite cluster may host between 9 and 12 million tonnes grading between 2 and 2.5 carats per tonne.
Diamond junior Archon Minerals jumped 30¢ to $1.30 per share following pre-feasibility news from a joint venture in the Northwest Territories. Archon has a 34.7% interest in the Buffer zone joint venture with producer Dominion Diamonds, which hosts the Jay kimberlite pipe.