Global markets continued to fall this week as the fall in commodity prices continued unabated. Both the TSX Composite and Venture Indices fell to 52-week lows on the back of continued falling oil prices, led by WTI crude which fell below the $30 per barrel level for the first time since 2003 as Iran prepared to export into a market already in oversupply.
While the TSX Composite Index approached the 12,000 level, finishing at 12,073 on Friday, the TSX Venture Index once again fell below the 500 level for the second time in one month to finish at 489. The loonie fell below the US$0.69 mark for the first time in 15 years. Miners were hammered during the week, with both the S&P/TSX Global Mining and Base Metals Indices hitting 52-week lows. The price of copper (↓3.6%) also fell to a 52-week low, crashing through the $2.00 per pound level to finish at $1.94 per pound, while nickel (↓2%), zinc (↓1.9%) and lead (↓1%) also lost ground, finishing at $3.79, $0.67 and $0.73 per pound.
In the midst of the global market rout, miners began releasing 2015 production results and guidance for 2016, with one diversified miner recording a $7.2 billion write-down (its largest ever) on its U.S. shale gas assets. Gold (↓1.4%) experienced a volatile week after piercing the $1.100 per ounce level last week; the yellow metal fell mid-week to as low as $1,071 per ounce during intra-day trading on Thursday before recovering to finish slightly lower for the week at $1,089 per ounce. Silver, platinum and palladium also lost ground, finishing at $13.93, $829 and $492 per ounce respectively. Finally, the UxC Broker Average Price (BAP) of uranium bucked the trend, finishing higher at $34.81 per pound.
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