‘That’s a Wrap’
By Rod Blake
As the brokers, investors and portfolio managers settled in for the New Year’s long weekend shortened first trading week of the year they knew that the losses of 2022 were officially behind them and there was some optimism that new opportunities lay ahead.
The way I see it – As a broker I always looked forward the start of a new year. The markets tend to get busier and more buoyant as investors and professionals alike get refocused after the Christmas holidays. Last year was an exception as the Russian/Ukraine conflict and rising interest rates creating an overwhelming amount of sell tickets. Barring some unforeseen event and a return to normality – the start of 2023 should lead to improved portfolio values.
Skeena Resources Ltd. ‘SKE-T & N’ shares’ rose by $0.59 or 8.18% to $7.80 after the Vancouver based mineral developer secured a $27-million royalty sale with Toronto’s Franco-Nevada Corp. ‘FNV-T & N’ to help advance the company’s Eskay Creek gold-silver Project in northern, BC.
First Quantum Minerals ‘FM-T’ and the Government of Panamá continued their discussions over the fate of the Cobre Panamá copper mine with the government issuing what it said was its final offer regarding royalties it expects to receive from the operation.
Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. ‘FVI-T’ & ‘ FSM-N’ shares’ fell by $0.55 or 10.42% to $4.73 after the Vancouver based miner received notice that the Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (“SEMARNAT”) was re-assessing the 12-year extension of the environmental impact authorization previously granted for the company’s San Jose Mine in Oaxaca, Mexico.
The price of Minera Alamos Inc. ‘MAI-V’ stock gained $0.03 or 6.67% to $0.48 after the Vancouver based junior miner filed an enhanced Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for its Cerro de Oro Gold Project in Zacatecas, Mexico.
This as gold bullion rose to a new 7-month high of US$1,867-per-ounce.
NFI Group Inc. ‘NFI-T’ of Winnipeg, Manitoba announced its subsidiary New Flyer Industries Canada ULC had secured a firm order from Winnipeg Transit to supply at least sixteen battery-electric and fuel cell-electric transit buses with options for up to 166 units over a period of 5-years.
Mercedes-Benz Group AG ‘MBG-G’ announced that over the next 6 to 7-years the automotive giant will invest US$1.05-billion to build 400 high-power electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across North America providing a total of 2,500 high-power plugs.
Calgary’s Precision Drilling Corp. ‘PD-T’ & ‘PDS-N’ announced the petroleum driller exceeded its 2022 debt repayment guidance and expects to repay over $400-million in debt by the end of 2025.
And Vermillion Energy Inc. ‘VET-T & N’ announced international energy producer expects to return up to 25% of free cash flow (FCF) to shareholders by way of share buybacks and a 25% increase in its quarterly dividend to $0.10-per-share.
Meanwhile, natural gas fell to a new 10-month low of US$3.74 per-1,000-btus.
The key Baker Hughes Petroleum Rig Count reported the number of active American drilling rigs fell by 7-rigs in the past week to 772, up by 184 from this time last year. Across the line – the number of Canadian active rigs rose by 105-rigs to 189, an increase of 48 in the past year.
Canfor Corporation ‘CFP-T’ sighted ongoing weak market conditions and a lack of available economic fibre as the Vancouver based forest company extended the shutdowns of its British Columbia solid wood facilities.
This as lumber dropped to a new 21/2-year low of US$350-per-1,000-board-feet.
And the CRB Commodities Index eased to a new 3-month low of 286.
For the Week – the DJI and the S&P 500 both rose by1.46% to 33,631 and 3,895 respectively and the NASDAQ gained 0.98% to 10,569. In Canada – the TSX rose by 2.22% to 19,815 and the TSX Venture improved by 2.11% to 582. The CBOE Volatility Index or VIX fell by 2.58% to 21.13.
With currencies – the Canadian dollar gained 0.70% to US$0.7438 and the U.S. dollar ‘DXY’ rose by 0.40% to 103.90.
With commodities – gold bullion gained 2.36% to US$1,867 while silver lost 0.54% to US$23.83, as copper rose by 2.89% to US$3.92, with lithium down 1.09% to US$76,086 and uranium off by 0.10% to US$48.80. Crude oil lost 8.42% to US$73.77 and natural gas fell by 15.58% to US$3.74. Meanwhile, lumber lost 5.66% to US$350. Overall – the CRB Commodities Index fell by 4.35% to 286.
And Finally – A Leger year-end cross-country survey found that being happy was the number one New Year’s resolution going into 2023, and by breaking down the survey the firm found that the happiest Canadians were women living in Montreal who earned $125,000 – $150,000 a year and voted for the Bloc Québécois.