News - Prospector's Diary

Just as one swallow does not a summer make, according to an old proverb, neither does one week of falling gold and rising copper signal a sea-change in investment markets

Just as one swallow does not a summer make, according to an old proverb, neither does one week of falling gold and rising copper signal a sea-change in investment markets – but it could, and that’s interesting. The switch, so modest that not many people noticed, saw gold slip by $64 an ounce to around $US1491/oz and copper rise by US10 cents a pound to $US2.62/lb. In percentage terms, those moves look a little more thought-provoking because they are both roughly 4% - gold down by 4%, copper up by 4%.

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It’s not easy being an optimist during a trade war, but there is a positive pattern emerging from negative events such as Brazil’s iron ore crisis and Indonesia’s nickel export ban, and if you look closely there could be another outage-event looming.

It’s not easy being an optimist during a trade war, but there is a positive pattern emerging from negative events such as Brazil’s iron ore crisis and Indonesia’s nickel export ban, and if you look closely there could be another outage-event looming. Rare earths, which have been on investor radar screens for the past year, have come off the boil lately, with local sector leader Lynas Corporation sliding over the past month by 44c (15%) to $2.41.

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Congratulations to readers who took seriously last week’s departure from the norm with mention in this column of the long-neglected small oils sector because some of them could have doubled their money on Strike Energy.

Congratulations to readers who took seriously last week’s departure from the norm with mention in this column of the long-neglected small oils sector because some of them could have doubled their money on Strike Energy. Interest in Strike, and a number of other small oil stocks, such as Cooper Energy, Carnarvon Petroleum and Warrego Energy, has been building as a recovery in exploration accelerates after the painful oil-price crash of five years ago.

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Picking winners in a flat market is not easy but over the past week there has been a sector swimming against the tide - small oils.

Picking winners in a flat market is not easy but over the past week there has been a sector swimming against the tide - small oils. Once a favorite among Australian investors, and still quite large when you look beneath the dominance of a handful of mega-oilers such as Woodside and Santos, the small oil sector was almost universally up last week when almost everything else was down.

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Global financial wobbles reinforced the case for gold this week

Global financial wobbles reinforced the case for gold this week but the uncertainty factor caused by the US sharemarket shake-out put a dampener on most sectors of the market and only a handful of gold miners managed to post gains while just about everything else fell. Surprise star of the week was Dacian Gold, a stock that some investors had written off weeks ago after operational problems at its Mt Morgans mine. It added 14c to $1.26, taking its gain since early June to 87c and putting it within sight of its pre-sell off price of $1.59.

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Gold dominated financial markets and news flow this week as the world stumbled towards a significant economic slowdown

Gold dominated financial markets and news flow this week as the world stumbled towards a significant economic slowdown, but in the background were early signs of another metal on the move. Nickel, which has been edging towards a price break-out for much of the year rallied strongly early yesterday, moving above $US7 a pound, and briefly trading at $US7.50/lb, its highest in more than four years, before settling around $US7.06/lb. In early July, nickel was selling for $US5.30/lb which means that at its high point yesterday the metal had risen by more than 40% in two months.

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The gold price took a knock yesterday when the US central bank delivered half the interest rate cut investors wanted, with the sliding share prices that followed a warning shot for investors making the trek to next week’s Diggers and Dealers conference in Kalgoorlie.

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Rare earths and potash returned to the winner’s circle this week as the first whiff of a correction wafted across the gold and iron ore sectors

Rare earths and potash returned to the winner’s circle this week as the first whiff of a correction wafted across the gold and iron ore sectors, while two industry leaders, BHP and Rio Tinto, paid a heavy price for annoying their supporters. On a “follow-the-money” basis, it was hard to overlook the flow of funds into two emerging rare earth companies, Arafura and Northern Minerals, which attracted $30 million and $23.2 million respectively to advance their projects.

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