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May 14, 2019

7 @ 7:00

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1. Gold has traded between $1,295 and $1,301 so far todayas of 7:00 am Pacific, the yellow metal is down $2 an ounce at $1,298 as it digests yesterday’s sharp move…a key resistance band exists between $1,300 and $1,313 (Fib.)…that’s Gold’s big immediate/near-term test, to power its way through that area…improved sentiment toward Gold is reflected in the holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest Gold-backed ETF, which rose 0.44% yesterday in the biggest 1-day rise in nearly 2 months…Silver is 5 cents higher at $14.79…Copper is flat at $2.74 while Nickel and Zinc are up slightly at $5.36 and $1.23, respectively…Cobalt remains steady at $15.76…Crude Oil has jumped 46 cents a barrel to $61.50 while the U.S. Dollar Index is up one-tenth of a point at 97.48…Bitcoin hit a fresh 10-month high of $8,335 on Bitstamp earlier today and is currently reporting its largest monthly gain since November 2017…on a note to clients yesterday, Citi said its China economists are “cautiously optimistic that a trade deal can eventually be signed” with the United States, but added that the “window to avoid further escalations in U.S.-China tensions is closing fast”

2.  Speaking at a White House event last night, President Trump offered a projection about how much longer Washington and Beijing could be locked in heated trade negotiations:  “We’ll let you know in 3 or 4 weeks if it’s successful,” he said to reporters…that comes after last week’s trade talks in Washington concluded without a deal and, instead, featured Trump putting additional pressure on China by hiking American tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese products from 10% to 25%…China, for its part, retaliated with its own raft of tariff hikes on a wide-ranging list of American goods, but of course there’s a huge trade imbalance…investors are closely watching to see if the trade battle grows even more punitive:  The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is taking steps to prepare to slap tariffs on the remaining billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods coming into America…Trump is trying to use maximum leverage against China…he knows he has to cut a deal in the not-too-distant future in order to keep markets strong through 2020

3. China’s auto sales sank 17.7% in April from a year earlier, the 10th straight monthly decline…drivers in the industry’s biggest global market bought 1.6 million sedans, SUVs and minivans, according to industry group China Association of Auto Manufacturers…total vehicle sales, including trucks and buses, fell 14.6% to 2 million…jittery consumers appear to be less willing to make big purchases amid a tariff battle with Washington and unease about China’s economic outlook…growth in the 2nd-largest global economy held steady in the latest quarter but that was supported by government stimulus spending and higher bank lending…the downturn is squeezing Chinese and global automakers that are pouring money into meeting government targets to develop electric vehicles…auto sales for the first 4 months of the year are off 14.7% from a year earlier at 6.8 million, according to CAAM…sales by Chinese brands in April plunged 27.9% from a year earlier to 585,000…their market share contracted by 5.2 percentage points to 37.1%….purchases of electric and gasoline-electric hybrid SUVs and sedans rose 18.1% to 97,000…that was a bright spot for the industry but well below growth rates of as much as 100% in previous months…

4. Bomb-laden drones target Oil infrastructure:  Oil prices took off this morning on reports of a drone attack at Oil pumping stations in Saudi Arabia…the incident is an “act of terrorism,” stated Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih in describing attacks on 2 Oil pumping stations near Riyadh for the country’s East-West pipeline carried out with bomb-laden drones…the fire has since been contained, according to news reports, and Al-Falih asserted that Oil production was not interrupted…“This act of terrorism and sabotage in addition to recent acts in the Arabian Gulf do not only target the Kingdom but also the security of world Oil supplies and the global economy,” al-Falih added…no one has yet been directly accused of carrying out the attack, but a Houthi-run TV channel announced this morning it had launched drone attacks on several Saudi installations…the channel Masirah TV, citing a Houthi military official, reported that 7 drones carried out attacks on vital Saudi installations”…meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported this morning that an initial U.S. assessment indicated Iran likely was behind the attack on 2 Saudi Arabian Oil tankers and 2 other vessels damaged over the weekend near the Strait of Hormuz…if confirmed, this would further inflame military tensions in the Persian Gulf…

5. The Dow has rebounded 136 points through the first 30 minutes of trading after yesterday’s big drop… in Toronto, the TSX is up 41 points while the Venture has added 4 points to 600…drill results continue to demonstrate strong growth potential at GoGold’s (GGD, TSX) recently acquired Los Ricos Project located about 100 km northwest of the city of Guadalajara…diamond drill hole LRGG-19009 intersected 21.2 m averaging 7.7 g/t Gold, 1,270 g/t Silver and 24.60 g/t Gold equivalent, including 6.9 m averaging 22 g/t Au, 3,718 g/t Ag and 71.5 g/t Gold equivalent (true width unknown at this time)…the drill hole was laid out to twin an historic RC drill hole from 2003 with the GoGold core hole returning 70% higher Gold equivalent grade…“We continue to see high grade ore from our drilling program which is near surface.  Our diamond drilling holes which are twinning historical RC holes continue to provide much higher grades than the historical results.  These results, coupled with the strong assay results that the historical 6,000 channel samples are showing as our exploration team works through the data, are showing a very promising project at Los Ricos,” stated Brad Langille, President and CEO…GGD closed the quarter in a strong financial position with $16 million in cash and marketable securities…American Pacific (USGD, CSE) is pushing higher on news regarding its Tuscarora Project in Nevada, a high-grade, low sulphidation epithermal property in Elko, Nevada, recently optioned to OceanaGold (OGC, TSX)…ongoing mapping and assessment of visible veins, shafts, roadcuts and workings will incorporate large faults and regional structures into a planned geophysical program…a gravity survey begins late this month while a CSAMT Geophysics (Zonge International) onsite survey is targeted for mid-June ahead of summer drilling…Tuscarora is 20 km southwest of the Jerritt Canyon mine, a private, underground mid-tier Gold producer with over 8 million ounces of Gold produced since first pour in 1981

6. Onex, the private equity company led by Gerry Schwartz, has struck a deal to buy WestJet Airlines (WJA, TSX) for $3.5-billionWJA soared more than 60% on that news yesterday, a clear indication that Canadian airlines have been persistently undervalued relative to firms in other countries…with WestJet’s debt included, the deal is the biggest private equity takeover of an airline in history…it also marks a major shift in the direction of an airline that, after launching in 1996, built an image as a scrappy Western rival to Air Canada and has been a public company for most of its history…WestJet has struggled in recent years because of a confluence of issues, including a soft economy in Alberta and a successful movement by some groups of employees to unionize…WestJet employs 14,000 people and has a fleet of 180 planes that fly to more than 100 destinations…it is embarking on a period of expanding its fleet, adding new routes and focusing on higher-priced, business-class tickets…last year it launched a discount subsidiary called Swoop in a bid to compete with no-frills airlines flying to the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean…the expansion has come with growing pains, including unionized staff, rising fuel costs and the end of a partnership with American Airlines (AAL, NASDAQ)…

7. Alberta is open for business again:  The first in a series of tax cuts for Alberta businesses is slated for July 1, Premier Jason Kenney announced yesterday, with a goal to hit an 8% tax rate by 2022…flanked by Finance Minister Travis Toews at a construction company in south Edmonton, Kenney said the first rollback will make Alberta’s general business tax rate the lowest in the country…Alberta’s 12% corporate tax rate is currently the 2nd lowest in the nation, sitting half a percentage point higher than Ontario and the Northwest Territories…meanwhile, environmentalists are raising the alarm over a suite of more than 250 amendments proposed for the Trudeau government’s environmental review legislation, warning the industry-inspired changes could alter the bill beyond recognition…last night the Senate energy committee began combing through as many as 300 proposed amendments to Bill C-69, which has been referred to as the “no more pipelines” bill…it would completely overhaul the environmental review process for major resource projects…the committee now has just 3 days to consider several packages of proposed amendments from both Conservative and Independent senators which, if accepted, would need to be sent back to the House of Commons for approval…

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