We enter the mid-month and new trading week on Monday, January 19th with investors still looking for some sort of New Years’ rally and gasoline prises at levels not seen since the economic crisis of 2008 -09.
Mining M&A continues to heat up as the price of Probe Mines Ltd. (PRB-T) shares’ surge up by 50.0% to $5.04 on word that giant gold miner Goldcorp Inc. (G-T) was taking over the junior and its prospective Borden Gold Project near Chapleau, Ontario.
Iraq announced that it has now reached a record crude oil production level of 4-million barrels-a-day.
Cutbacks continue in the oil patch as Lightstream Resources Ltd. (LTS-T) announced it was suspending its $0.15-a-year dividend and adopting a more conservative capital spending program in the light of lower petroleum prices.
Gran Tierra Energy (GTE-T) got off to a rocky start on Tuesday, January 20th when its share price fell by over 30% to $2.91 when the petroleum developer reported less-than-stellar results from its Bretana Sur appraisal well
Technical analysts Olaf Sztaba & Ron Meisels on the risks to market going forward – “After a spectacular 2014 and an impressive end-of-the year rally, exhaustion has finally caught up with the markets. This fatigue manifests itself in increased volatility and range-bound trading, which could define the market action for the first months of 2015“. (For a copy of the complete report please contact ‘email@example.com’.)
China reported that its economic growth slowed in 2014 to a 24-year low of 7.4%.
Wheels Group Inc. (WGI-T) shares’ surged up by over 33% to $0.76 on word the intermodal and truck services company was being taken over by Radiant Logistics Inc. (RLGT-A) in a cash & stock deal worth some $69-million.
Another central banker shocks the markets on Wednesday, January 21st when Bank of Canada Governor Stephan Poloz reacts to plummeting crude oil prices and cuts the country’s benchmark lending rate by 0.25% to 0.75%, all of which helped to push the Canadian Loonie down by another 1.5-cents to US$0.8106.
IMAX Corp. (IMAX-N) reported that Chinese receipts for their giant movie screen productions rose by 36% in 2014 to a record 29.6-billion yuan.
American Express Co. (AXP-N) and eBay Inc. (EBAY-Q) announced respective layoffs of 4,000 and 2,400 workers.
European Central Bank president Mario Draghi announced on Thursday, January 22nd that the regions central banks were introducing their own version of quantitative easing (QE) and were prepared to purchase up to €1.1-trillion of government bonds over the next year and a half in order to counter their threat of deflation.
The Royal Bank of Canada (RY-T) announced it had purchased Los Angeles based bank City National Corp. (CYN-N) in an all-cash deal worth some US$5.4-billion.
Toyota Motor Corp. retained its number position as the world’s largest vehicle company by selling 10.23-million units in 2014, closely follows by Volkswagen with sales of 10.14-million and General Motors Co. (GM-N) with 2014 sales of some 9.92-million units.
Netflix Inc. (NFLZ-Q) shares’ surged up by over 17% to US$409.28 when the video streaming company informed investors that the overseas rollout of its services was progressing much faster than expected.
Friday, January 23rd begins with Statistics Canada reporting that the recent drop in gasoline prices helped the country’s inflation rate had eased by 0.1% in December to end the year at an annualized 1.5%, well below their target inflation rate of 2.0%.
Stats. Canada also reported that retail sales rose by a better than expected 0.4% in November to $43-billion. (Black Friday seems to have caught on in Canada.)
Crude oil prices shudder once again with the passing of Saudi Arabia’s 90-year old King Abdullah and the uncertainty of his successor and half-brother King Salman.
More long range trends were established during the week with copper dropping to a 5½-year low of US$2.50-a-pound, while crude oil fell to a new 6-year low of US$45.43-a-barrel, The CRB Spot Commodities Index dropped to 4½-year low of 424, and the Canadian petrodollar that dropped to a new 5¾-year low of US$0.8051. On the plus side, Gold bullion rose to a new 6-month high of US$1,304.60-an-ounce.
Claude Resources Inc. (CRJ-T) at $0.41, Open Text Corp. (OTC-T) at $72.50 and Pizza Pizza Royalty (PZA-T) at $15.00 all set new TSX 52-week trading highs while Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B-T) at $2.53, Gamehost Inc. (GH-T) at $12.90 and Westport Innovations Inc. (WPT-T) at $3.83 all established new 52-week trading lows.
For the Week – The Dow Industrials gained 0.92% to 17,673, while the S&P 500 Index rose by 1.63% to 2,052 and the NASDAQ Exchange improved by 2.68% to 4,758. On the Canadian side, the TSX Composite Index gained 3.28% to 14,779 and the TSX Venture Exchange gained 1.65% to 678.
Gold bullion rose by 1.31% to US$1,293, while copper fell by 4.58% to US$2.50, with crude oil dropping by 7.53% to US$45.43 and natural gas lost 4.85% to US$2.94. Overall, the CRB Spot Commodities Index eased by another 1.17% to 424.
The Canadian dollar plunged by 3.60% against its American counterpart to end the week at US$0.8051.
And the closely watched CBOE Volatility Index or VIX dropped by 4.36-points to finish the week at a much calmer level of 16.59.
And Finally – In its zeal to lower its currency and make its exports more competitive, Denmark’s central bank cut its man interest rate by another 0.15% last week to…..now wait for it…-0.35%. (Now, even savers in Denmark are guaranteed to lose some of their money.)
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