U.S. markets post fifth straight week of losses

U.S. markets were closed for the Memorial Day holiday on May 30 and when they re-opened posted their fifth straight week of losses. Disappointing economic data confirmed the U.S. economic recovery has hit a soft spot, with the jobless rate rising to 9.1% in May. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 290.32 points or 2.33% to close at 12,151.26, while the S&P 500 index fell 30.94 points or 2.32% to finish at 1,300.16. The Philadelphia Gold and Silver index dropped 5.2 points or 2.49% to 203.27.

Shareholders approved Alpha Natural Resources‘ US$7.1 billion purchase of Massey Energy on June 1, sending shares of Massey up US$1.12 to close at US$65.14. The deal will create the largest metallurgical or coking coal company in the U.S. but one that will have to deal with the legacy of the disaster at Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia last year in which 29 miners died  – the worst mine accident in the U.S. in forty years. Alpha’s shares fell US$3.10 to US$49.97. 

Agnico-Eagle Mines was the best performing gold company during the abbreviated trading week, adding 59¢ to US$65.27. The gold miner announced on May 30 that it had acquired 3 million units of Colibri Resource Corp. in a private placement lifting its stake in the company to 18.6%. Colibri holds mineral properties in the state of Sonora, northwestern Mexico.

Shares of Augusta Resource were up 16¢ to US$4.53 following news the company’s preliminary draft Environmental Impact Statement on its Rosemont Copper project had been delivered to the State of Arizona and local cooperating agencies.  The Rosemont deposit is expected to produce 221 million pounds of copper a year, which the company says could account for as much as 10% of all copper output in the United States. Rosemont is also expected to produce silver and molybdenum over a mine life of more than twenty years.

Habanero Resources surged 25% to 15¢ per share on no news. On May 27 the junior announced a non-brokered private placement valued at about $1.63 million. The money will go towards the first phase of drilling at its Haldane silver prospect in the Keno Hill region of the Yukon; work on its White Gold prospect, in the White Gold region of the Yukon; and its Lezai prospect in Quebec.



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