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January 7, 2019

7 @ 7:00

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1. Gold has traded between $1,288 and $1,296 so far today…as of 7:00 am Pacific, bullion is up $7 an ounce at $1,291…China has increased its official Gold reserves for the first time since October 2016…the communist country’s Gold reserves rose to 59.560 million fine troy ounces at the end of December…they had been steady at 59.240 million fine troy ounces from October 2016 to November 2018, according to data from the People’s Bank of China….global Gold ETF inflows have totalled 18.6 tonnes since the start of the year, according to BloombergSilver has added 2 pennies to $15.69…Copper is flat at $2.67…Nickel is 4 cents higher at $5.01 while Zinc has gained a penny to $1.15Crude Oil is up sharply again, adding 88 cents a barrel to $48.84 while the weakening U.S. Dollar Index has slid more than one-third of a point to 95.71…the U.S. services sector expanded at a slower-than-expected pace in December, according to data released this morning…the ISM non-manufacturing index clocked in at 57.6 last month…the manufacturing index for December was released last week and came in at its lowest level since November 2016…however, solid expansion in the manufacturing and services sectors continues…

2. Tesla’s (TSLA, NASDAQ) new manufacturing plant in China is officially under construction…CEO Elon Musk broke ground on the electric carmaker’s huge factory in Shanghai today, kickstarting a plan to eventually make half a million vehicles in China every year…the company is aiming to complete the initial construction work this summer and start producing its cheapest car, the Model 3, by the end of the year, Musk said in a series of tweets before the event…the Gigafactory in Shanghai’s Lingang Industrial Zone is the biggest foreign investment in manufacturing the city has ever seen, the Shanghai government said in a statement today…the government also reiterated Tesla’s initial target to make 250,000 cars a year, eventually ramping up to 500,000…that’s about 5 times the number of vehicles the company currently produces in the United States…

5. Restoring law and order:  Members of a Northern B.C. First Nation say police intervention is imminent at checkpoints they set up blocking access to a liquefied natural gas pipeline project…Jennifer Wickham, a member of the Gidimt’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, told the Vancouver Sun said RCMP officers have gathered in Smithers and Houston, the closest towns to the checkpoints…“It’s a pretty spiritual time for the folks that are up there right now, and they’re sort of bracing themselves for what could come”…the Wet’suwet’en First Nation is blocking access is TransCanada’s $4.7 billion Coastal GasLink Pipeline, a 670-km route that is meant to deliver liquefied natural gas from Dawson Creek to a planned LNG Canada facility near Kitimat…TransCanada has all the necessary government approvals plus benefit agreements with all 20 elected First Nation bands along the route…however, members of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, which is made up of 5 clans, have long protested construction of pipelines through the nation’s claimed traditional territory…

6. The Dow is off 93 points through the first 30 minutes of trading after a more than 700-point surge Friday…mutual funds invested in equity and bonds lost a record $152 billion in December, while U.S. equity ETF’s just had their first back-to-back weekly outflows since July 2018, shedding $7.1 billion in the last 2 weeks according to TrimTabs Investment Research…the TSX is off 18 points as of 7:00 am PacificNew Gold (NGD, TSX) hit $1.31 in early trading, its highest level since September…the Venture, gunning for its 8th straight winning session, has added another 4 points to 592PyroGenesis Canada (PYR, TSX-V) is up slightly after announcing that it has been awarded a contract for a 900-kilowatt plasma torch system for more than $1 million…this contract was won in a competitive bid put out by Rise Energy Technology Center AB of Sweden…

7. Election results in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been postponed again and officials said they did not know when they would be ready (they still have to figure out the best way to rig the votes)…the country’s electoral commission (Ceni) said yesterday that tally sheets were trickling in slowly and so it would not be possible to release the results as scheduled…Corneille Nangaa, the head of Ceni, said, “We ask the nation to remain patient for the time it will take to consolidate all our data”…opposition members and observers have said that releasing the results late could be part of a scheme by the Congolese government to rig the election…although President Joseph Kabila could not stand again, having already exceeded his constitutionally mandated 2 terms, his handpicked successor, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, is widely seen as a puppet, there to hold the reins until 2023 when Kabila may run again…on Friday, President Trump said 80 U.S. military personnel had been deployed to Gabon “in response to the possibility that violent demonstrations may occur in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in reaction to the 30 December 2018 elections there”…in a letter to congressional leaders, Trump said the personnel were there to protect American citizens and the embassy, but also “in furtherance of United States national security and foreign policy interests”, adding that they would be there until the DRC’s security situation looked stable enough that they were not needed – and that more could be deployed if necessary…on Thursday the U.S. threatened sanctions against those who tried to undermine democracy or threatened peace and stability…the Catholic church, a powerful body in the DRC, warned on Saturday of a possible uprising if Ceni did not release provisional results that “conformed to the truth of the polls”…the church had previously claimed that there was a clear winner of the election and called on the electoral commission to release the “true” results, signalling – though not saying outright – that Shady had lost…

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