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By Rod Blake

‘That’s a Wrap’

Mentally weary investors, traders, brokers and portfolio managers looked forward to this shortened Easter week in the markets, which gave us the following highlights –

Early in the week crude oil fell $3.04 to new 6-week low of US$94.43/bbl and then later rebounded up to US$106.60

Natural gas soared to a new 14-year high of US$7.32/mmbtus.

Vancouver based Mexican miner Endeavour Silver Corp. ‘EDR-T’ & ‘EXK-N’ announced a 1st-quarter silver production increase of 25% year-over-year to 1.3-million ounces.

No sooner had Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that “Nuclear’s on the table, absolutely” for the country to meet its future electricity needs – then Canadian uranium giant Cameco Corporation’s. ‘CCO-T’ & ‘CCJ-N’  shares rose to a new 11-year high of C$39.81.

With what could further disrupt the global supply chain issues – it was reported that with China’s current Covid-19 lockdowns – there are currently an estimated 500 – ships anchored offshore China waiting to load and offload products at the world’s second largest economy.

General Motors ‘GM-N’ and Glencore PLC ‘GLEN-L’ announced a strategic minerals multi-year sourcing agreement in which Glencore will supply GM with cobalt from its Murrin Murrin Operation in Australia.

The United States Bureau of Labor  Statistics (USBLS) said U.S inflation – fueled by a 38% increase in gasoline pricesrose by 6% in the past year to a 41-year high of 8.5% – the highest rate since March, 1981.

The USBLS then added more fuel to the inflation fire by reporting that the country’s Producer Price Index (PPI) rose by 11.2% in the past year to March – the largest year-over-year increase ever recorded since data was first calculated in 2010.

Energy Fuels Inc. ‘UUUU-N’ & ‘EFR-T’ announced it recently shipped three different critical mineral concentrates including uranium (U3O8), Vanadium Pentoxide (V2O5) and a mixed rare-earth element carbonate (REE) from its White Mesa Mill near Blanding, Utah. It is thought that it was the first REE carbonate to be produced in the U.S since early in this century.

The Bank of Canada did as expected and raised its key overnight interest rate by another 0.5% to 1.0% – the largest such increase in over 20-years.

And at the end of a shortened week of trading – the investment world goes all a twitter over Elon Musk’s offer to take Twitter Inc. ‘TWTR-N’ private for US$54.20-a-share or US$43-billion.

For the Week – The DJI fell by 0.38% to 34,451, while the S&P 500 dropped 2.29% to 4,393 and the NASDAQ lost 2.62% to 13,351. To the north – the TSX was lower by 0.09% to 21,856 while the TSX Venture rose by 0.56% to 893.

Gold bullion gained 1.33% to US$1,974, as silver rose by 2.18% to US$25.32 and copper improved by 0.21% to US$4.74. Meanwhile – crude oil  gained 8.18% to US$106.60 while natural rose by 16.56% to US$7.32. The Canadian dollar lost 0.13% to US$0.7932. Overall – the CRB Commodities Index gained 4.21% to 332.

And Finally – It seems that smartphone selfies are contributing to an unnecessary increase in facial plastic surgeries among younger people. According to a study by the University of Texas –  as the wide angle feature  of the smartphone photos distorts facial features such as noses, lips and chins and encourages younger people to correct the perceived unattractive features.

Good luck in the week ahead….

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