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‘That’s a Wrap’

By Rod Blake

The new North American trading week began with the American brokers, investment advisors and portfolio managers going it alone as their northern counterparts were taking an extra day to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving.

All resource investors were keenly watching a very strong American dollar that is once again trading at or near 20-year highs. A strong greenback is not usually kind to commodities that are priced in U.S dollars.

Softening lumber prices continue to weigh on the forestry sector as Conifex Timber Inc. ‘CFF-T’ announced a two-week shutdown of its Mackenzie sawmill in central British Columbia.

Westshore Terminals Investment Corp. ‘WTE-T’ announced that coal operations had resumed at its west coast facility after the coal exporting company reached an agreement with its workers union.

Texas based Uranium Energy Corp. ‘UEC-N’ announced it had agreed to purchase the prized Roughrider uranium deposit in the Saskatchewan Athabasca Basin from a subsidiary of Rio Tinto plc ‘RIO-N’ in a cash & stock deal of some US$150-million.

In what is probably the largest uranium related deal in recent memory – Cameco Corp. ‘CCO-T’ & ‘CCJ-N’ with 49% teamed up with Brookfield Renewable Partners ‘BEO.UH-T’ & ‘BEP-N’ with 51% to acquire 100% of iconic electric and nuclear company Westinghouse Electric Company in cash & debt deal valued at some US$7.875-billion.

The way I see it – It would seem that the real world is figuring out that in order to truly green the planet – nuclear power and, by extension, uranium will play a critical role. And while wind and solar power are no doubt green – at this time their surface footprint and downtime requirements restrict them to being a marginal portion of the world’s clean energy needs. The sooner that world leaders embrace the fact that the planet needs more nuclear then the sooner the planet’s future will seem brighter once again.

U.S crude oil inventories came in with a much higher than expected rise of 9.88-million barrels.

Barrick Gold Corp. ‘ABX-T’ & ‘GOLD-N’ share price fell by $0.65 or 3.12% to $20.19 after the world’s second largest gold producer reported 3rd-quarter gold production that was slightly below previous estimates.

Calgary based Birchcliff Energy Ltd. ‘BIR-T’ joined a growing list of Canadian petroleum companies to return excess cash to shareholders – this time with a special dividend of $0.20 per common share.

The price of Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. ‘WDO-T’ stock price fell by $0.81 or 8.85% to $8.34 after the mid-tier gold company’s 3rd-quarter production fell well short of analysts’ expectations.

For the Week – the DJI fell by 1.15% to 29,635 with the S&P 500 off by 1.57% to 3,583 and the NASDAQ down 3.11% to 10,321. Up north – the TSX lost 1.38% to 18,326 and the TSX Venture dropped 4.44% to 581. The CBOE Volatility Index or VIX rose by 0.53% to 32.02.

With currencies – the Canadian dollar fell by 1.01% to 0.7202 and the U.S. dollar ‘DXY’ rose by 0.20% to 113.04.

With commodities – Gold bullion lost 3.45% to US$1,650 with silver off by 8.59% to US$18.52 while copper gained 3.25% to US$3.47. In the oil patch – the key Baker Hughes Petroleum Rig Count reported the number of active American drilling rigs rose by 7-rigs to 769, an increase of 226 from this time last year. Up north – the number of active Canadian rigs rose by 1-rig to 216, an increase of 48 in the past year. Crude oil lost 5.87% to US$86.83 and natural gas fell 3.66% to US$6.50. Overall – the CRB Commodities Index fell by 0.98% to 304.

And Finally Canada Post is branching out from its tradition roll of a mail and parcel delivery service by launching MyMoney which will enable customers mainly in small or indigenous communities to apply for loans of up to $1,000 through the crown corporation.


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