An Ernst & Young Canadian mining index declined 13% in the last quarter of 2016, largely due to weakness in gold and nickel prices, offset partly by gains in copper and zinc prices. (Copper increased 14% in anticipation of infrastructure spending in the U.S.)
The Mining Eye index tracks Canadian mining-sector performance of 100 TSX and TSXV mid-tier and junior companies with market capitalizations between $1.6 billion and $47 million.
For the full year, however, the index rose 61% — widely surpassing the 18% gain of the S&P/TSX composite index.
“The outlook for the Canadian mining sector remains healthy,” says Jim MacLean, EY’s Canadian mining and metals leader, in a release. “The recovery of commodities prices in the latter half of 2016, paired with improved productivity and global geopolitical factors, means we can anticipate more sustainable growth in 2017.”
Further, the report suggests investors will continue to view gold as a safe haven investment, given the uncertainty surrounding various policies and plans under the Trump presidency.
Another potential boost to gold demand: gold is now accepted as an investment in Islamic finance. (Under Shariah law, gold was only allowed to be owned in physical form, like jewelry.) S&P estimates an associated increase in investment in financial assets of US$5 trillion by 2020.
Read the full report here.
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