By Our Man in Oz
Minews. Good morning Australia, you seem to have had quite a week with gold stocks leading the way once again.
Oz. It was a good week for gold, but not for much else. Iron ore stocks lost much of their hard-won gains and copper stocks were hit hard by the sharp fall in the price of their metal.
One of the big surprises of the week was a modest increase in the value of the Australian dollar, almost in defiance of predictions that it is destined to drop sharply.
Minews. Is the currency move related to what happened with the Swiss franc?
Oz. Perhaps, though the big winner from the Swiss cutting the connection of their franc to the euro appears to be gold thanks to its status as a currency that governments find hard to manipulate.
Last week’s US1 cent rise in the Australian dollar to US82.2 cents negated some of the rise in the U.S. dollar gold price but when business here on Friday closed the local gold price had moved up to around A$1,550 an ounce, a price that prompted comments long the lines of “if a goldminer can’t make money at that price it should quit”.
Minews. Let’s start our price check with your gold stocks, but first we should hear about the key ASX indices.
Oz. The gold index led the way, as would be expected, adding another eight per cent which extends its gain to almost 27 per cent over three weeks. The metals and mining index, weighed down by stocks exposed to copper and iron ore fell seven per cent, wiping out the gains of the previous three weeks, and the all ordinaries index shed three per cent, also wiping out hard earned gains.
Northern Star (NST) was the gold stock everyone was watching down this way after it reported strong cash flow, heightening speculation that it might use its spare cash to acquire additional assets. On the market, the stock added A28 cents to A$1.98 but did touch a 12-month high of A$2 during the day.
Troy (TRY) was another stock attracting attention as it rose by A13 cents to A68 cents, and St Barbara (SBM) had its best week in a long while with a rise of A5 cents to A18.5 cents. Other gold moves worth noting included Silver Lake (SLR), up A6.5 cents to A30.5 cents. Newcrest (NCM), up A75 cents to A$12.93. Perseus (PRU), up A5 cents to A33.5 cents. Evolution (EVN), up A9 cents to A89 cents. Beadell (BDR) up A7.5 cents to A36.5 cents, and Resolute (RSG), up A5.5 cents to A38 cents.
Minews. So much for the good news, now for a look at copper and the other base metals, please.
Oz. Copper stocks, as you would expect were hammered by the sharp fall in the copper price. Nickel and zinc stocks also fell sharply as the prices of their metals also weakened.
Sandfire (SFR) posted one of the sharpest falls in the copper sector, shedding A84 cents to A$3.81. OZ Minerals (OZL) lost A59 cents to A$3.12. CuDeco (CDU) fell by A30 cents to A$1.35. Hot Chili (HCH), was A3 cents weaker at A13.5 cents. Tiger (TGS) shed A2.5 cents lower to A12 cents, while King River (KRC) floated against the tide with a rise of one-tenth of a cent to A2.9 cents.
Mincor (MCR) was the surprise in the nickel sector, adding A8.5 cents to A66 cents thanks to encouraging drilling results which overrode the falling nickel price. Other stocks were not so lucky with hefty falls posted by Western Areas (WSA), down A67 cents to A$3.53. Sirius (SIR), down A36 cents to A$2.35, and Cassini (CZI), down A1.5 cents to A13 cents.
Ironbark (IBG) was the only zinc stock to gain ground, adding half-a-cent to A9 cents after reporting fresh government approvals for its Citronen mine in Greenland. Terramin (TZN) fell A1.5 cents to A12.5 cents, and Mungana (MUX) was A2 cents weaker at A10 cents.
Minews. Iron ore next, please.
Oz. All down. Falls included: Mineral Resources (MIN), down a weighty A$1.27 to A$6.79 after having a planned mine rejected by environmental authorities. Fortescue (FMG) down A47 cents to A$2.31, but it did reach a 12-month low of A$2.26 on Thursday. Atlas (AGO) down A7.5 cents to A19 cents. Mt Gibson (MGX) down A3 cents to A24 cents and BC Iron (BCI) down A14.5 cent to A53.5 cents.
Minews. Coal, uranium and graphite next, please.
Oz. Most coal and uranium stocks weakened in line with the oil price. Graphite stocks were mixed.
Whitehaven (WHC) led the way down among the coal stocks, slipping A10 cents lower to A$1.19. Other coal moves included Guildford (GUF), down two-tenths of a cent to A3.3 cents. New Hope (NHC), went against the trend with a rise of A1 cent to A$2.44, as did Prairie Mining (PDZ) which added A6 cents to A37 cents.
Vimy (VMY) suffered the heaviest fall in the uranium sector, losing A5 cents to A40 cents. Paladin (PDN) was A2 cents weaker at A35.5 cents, and Bannerman (BMN) lost six-tenths of a cent to A6.4 cents.
Syrah (SYR) was the graphite leader with a rise of A27 cents to A$3.33. Valence (VXL) posted the heaviest fall, shedding A5.5 cents to A42 cents. Other moves included Talga (TLG), down A2.5 cents to A28 cents, Magnis (MNS), down A1.5 cents to A21.5 cents, and Kibaran (KNL), up A1 cent to A16.5 cents.
Minews. The minor metals to close, thanks.
Oz. Titanium stocks weakened, led by Mineral Deposits (MDL), down A10.5 cents to A81.5 cents, and Base (BSE), down A1.5 cents to A16.5 cents.
Diamond stocks also lost ground. Lucapa (LOM) was A2.5 cents weaker at A30.5 cents while Kimberley (KDL) slipped half-a-cent lower to A10 cents.
Rare earth stocks were mixed. Lynas (LYC) lost A1 cent to A5.6 cents while Alkane (ALK) added A1.5 cents to A22.5 cents, though that rise was probably more to do with Alkane’s gold assets.
Minews. Thanks Oz.