With the TSX composite index down almost 500 points in two trading days investors are back on the fence waiting for, what some say, could be a long overdue correction in the global equity markets. Before the correction, the TSX was up 7.5% since the start of the year. Thomas Lee, a U.S. equity strategist at J.P. Morgan recently stated the pullback should begin soon enough, “Our view continues to be that we see a pullback in equities taking root sometime in late-March (or) April.”
In February, James Dailey, portfolio manager of TEAM Asset Strategy Funds in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania may have summarized the markets best when he said, “Are we due for a pullback? Yes. When? That’s the big question. Money just keeps flowing into equities.”
Now, in the midst of a swift correction, some investors may think that with a strong start to 2011 and impressive finish last year the table may be set for a nasty pullback in 2011. The TSX rose 19 per cent in the last half of 2010. UBS strategist George Vasic notes whenever the TSX composite has had a gain of greater than 10 per cent in the second half of a year, its performance the following year has been substantially better. “While tactical fears can be justified, the bottom line is that we believe the trend is your friend in the current circumstances,” said Vasic.
Having just hit $1,477.65 an ounce yesterday morning gold has also experienced a selloff over the past two trading sessions. Gold is currently $1,450 down $27.65 since the high. But some don’t expect gold to top out any time soon. According to a new analyst report from UK based Standard Chartered Bank the price of gold will likely reach $2,100 an ounce within three years. The report added: “The bull run in gold is likely to continue for some time, but prices should peak around 2014 as supply finally catches up with demand and US real rates turn positive.”
With both equity markets and gold taking it on the chin it appears investors, for the moment, are content to take profits and sit on the sidelines. While the markets take a breather, we look at a few junior gold companies that are flying high in 2011 having made some noteworthy announcements from drill programs this year.
On April 4th, 2011 Trelawney Mining and Exploration (TSX: TRR) released additional drill results from the Cote Lake deposit on the Chester project located halfway between Timmins and Sudbury in Northern Ontario. As part of the company’s expansion drill program Treleway announced the results from three holes: (Hole E11-48) 285.80 metres of 1.18 grams per tonne gold; (Hole E11-49) 275.00 metres of 1.26 grams per tonne gold; and (Hole E11-53) 304.00 metres of 1.65 grams per tonne gold. Greg Gibson, Trelawney’s president and chief executive officer, commented: “We are very pleased with the results of this initial step-out drilling. These drill results confirm our belief that our initial resource estimate can be expanded significantly, along with potential increases in grade as these results are above the average grade reported in our initial resource.”
Trelawney also announced similar results on January 5th, January 25th and February 8th of this year marking an impressive start to 2011. The company’s shares have responded accordingly, moving from just under $3.00 per share at the end of 2010 to around $5.00 per share today.
Another strong performer in 2011 has been Gold Canyon (TSXV: GCU), which recently announced on March 29th, 2011 assays from six new holes from its winter 2011 drill program at its Springpole gold project, near Red Lake in Ontario, Canada. Results include 150 metres at 2.56 grams per tonne gold. Dr. Quinton Hennigh, a technical adviser to and a director of Gold Canyon stated, “…we can now confidently say that mineralization starts at surface down the entire length of the Portage zone.” And, “…all six holes bottom in mineralization, suggesting there is more going on at depth.” Similar to Treleway, Gold Canyon has announced numerous results thus far in 2011 including 100.5 metres at 7.23 grams per tonne gold on March 15th, 2011. Gold Canyon shares started the year trading at $2.25 and are currently being exchanged for $3.46.
Also delivering some interesting results in 2011 is Continental Gold (TSX: CNL). Continental has been releasing results from its Buritica project in Antioquia, Colombia since August 2010 and, on March 22nd, 2011, announced 10.8 meters intersecting 43.97 grams per tonne gold. Continental Gold is a top pick of Sentry Investments portfolio manager Andrew McCreath who stated on BNN Market Call Tonight on March 30th, 2011 that he expects the company will continue to deliver in 2011. This time last year Continental’s shares were trading at $2.50, and despite the recent correction in the equity markets, the company’s shares are trading at $8.30.