Author Archives: Steven Cochran

citgo-russia

Russia May Seize Citgo’s US Oil Assets

April 17th, 2017 by

citgo-russiaThe woes of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PdVSA exploded onto the Washington, DC political scene this week, when doubts surfaced that it could meet a $2.2 billion bond payment due on April 12.

Part of that total due last Wednesday included a payment on a $1.5 billion loan from Russian oil giant Rosneft. The Venezuelans put up a 49.9% stake in their US subsidiary Citgo as collateral. Had the Venezuelans not made that payment, the Russian government could have suddenly found itself the proud owner of 4% of America’s oil infrastructure.

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Gold Gains on Global Jitters

April 12th, 2017 by

Trump-NK-tweetGold prices are holding on to yesterday’s $20 in gains this morning, as tensions on the Korean peninsula ratchet ever-higher. North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un and US president Donald Trump continue to taunt each other in press releases and on Twitter, as a US Navy carrier battle group heads to the eastern coast of Korea. Gold is now trading at its highest level since before Trump’s victory in last November’s presidential election.

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Will 2017 Be A Semi-Key Date For Silver Eagles?

March 31st, 2017 by

American Silver Eagle sales for the first quarter of 2017 totaled a bit over 7.9 million coins, the slowest start since 2009. Considering that the first quarter is usually the most active time for Silver Eagle sales each year, current demand is pointing toward 2017 being the lowest mintage in at least six years. This poses the question: Will 2017 be a semi-key, or even key date for the American Silver Eagle?

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Gold Recovers On Brexit Declaration

March 29th, 2017 by

brexit-1462470589paaGold prices are trading near unchanged this morning, reversing early losses as British Prime Minister Theresa May officially triggered the process for the UK to leave the European Union. The pound and euro are both only modestly lower, while the jump in the beleaguered US dollar back above 100 on the DXY index is mostly from a set of upbeat economic data combined with oversold condition of the greenback.

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dutchelections

Far-Right Falls Short In Dutch Election

March 20th, 2017 by

dutchelectionsThe victory of the Liberal Party in last Wednesday’s parliamentary election in the Netherlands led to elation, if not jubilation, among establishment politicians throughout the European Union. The far-right Freedom Party (PVV), led by the incendiary Geert Wilders, did not gain as many votes as pollsters predicted, but still managed to gain five seats to become the second-largest party in the Dutch House of Representatives.

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klondex

Klondex Gets Gold Where Others Can’t

February 20th, 2017 by

klondexCanadian junior gold miner Klondex has transformed itself into a leader in narrow vein gold mining over the last five years. The company’s specialty is now buying failed mines from creditors, then returning them to profitability using that narrow vein expertise.

This focus has seen the company rise from the bottom of the junior mining heap on the Toronto Stock Exchange to the best performing stock on the S&P/TSX Composite Gold index, gaining 22% in the six months ending 2016.

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Gold Holds Highs As Stocks Falter

February 17th, 2017 by

Gold is trading at its Thursday highs this morning, bucking headwinds from a moderately higher dollar. Stocks opened lower this morning, as the market seems exhausted from its recent record-setting rally. The precious metals are seeing some safe-haven demand out of Europe today, as the possibility of the far-right politician Marine Le Pen’s chances of winning the French presidential election seem to be growing.

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gold rally

Gold Pulled Down By Economic Data

February 15th, 2017 by

Precious metals ran into selling pressure this morning in New York, as a raft of economic reports surprised to the upside. Faced with evidence of a robust economy on several fronts, markets have doubled the odds of a March rate hike by the Fed. This sent the dollar and bond yields higher while weighing on gold prices.

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Fed Chair Janet Yellen testifying before Congress (photo: Federal Reserve)

Yellen Erases Gold’s Gains

February 14th, 2017 by

Gold prices are volatile this morning, as safe haven demand duels with this morning’s Congressional testimony of Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen.

Spot gold was up as much as $10 an ounce in reaction to last night’s sudden resignation of President Trump’s National Security Advisor over his contacts with Russian officials before and after Trump’s victory in the 2016 Presidential election.

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photo: Gage Skidmore

Gold Drops On Trump’s Tax Promise

February 9th, 2017 by

percent-interest-taxesDonald Trump did this morning what rising stocks and lower jobless numbers could not. Bargain hunters in the gold market were buying on any dips caused by traders booking recent profits, keeping prices near yesterday’s three-month high.

Market fortunes reversed instantly, however, after President Trump made a surprise announcement that he would be unveiling a “phenomenal” plan for tax cuts in the next week or two. This sent spot gold down more than $8 an ounce in a matter of minutes as the dollar and stocks surged.

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Gold Breaks $1,240 As Dollar Fades

February 8th, 2017 by

Gold is sharply higher this morning in New York, hitting a three-month high as it pulls the other three big precious metals along with it. Gold prices began building during early trading in London, despite a rally in the US dollar. The DXY dollar index began falling before the New York open, putting further support underneath precious metals.

Wall Street opened lower, pressured by a drop in oil prices spurred yesterday after the American Petroleum Institute announced a massive 14.2 million barrel build in US crude stockpiles. This was 568% higher than the 2.5 million barrel build that analysts were expecting.

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Gold Shrugs Off Payrolls

February 3rd, 2017 by

Gold prices seem to be ignoring a better that expected non-farm payrolls report this morning, actually gaining modestly after its release. Looking under the hood past the headline numbers, and noting negative revisions for prior months exposes a payrolls report that famous “Bond King” Bill Gross describes as “schizophrenic.”

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Lithium Startups Challenge Majors

February 2nd, 2017 by

lithium batteries © Macker54321 | Dreamstime.com

© Macker54321 | Dreamstime.com

2017 is shaping up to be the sixth year in a row where lithium production has fallen short of demand. 175,000 metric tons of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) was produced in 2016, compared to an estimated demand of 185,000 tons.

With lithium metal prices tripling over the last three years, and electric vehicle (EV) sales set to increase exponentially in the next twenty years, several lithium mining startups are looking to leverage new technology for faster, cleaner extraction of lithium compared to the present global oligopoly that controls the market.

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