The Weekly Dig - April 13, 2017

by Mick Carew, PhD,, Emma Boggio, MSC, CPA and CA, and The Haywood Mining Team

The Weekly Dig - U.S./Russia Remain at Odds over Syria as Tensions Escalate


Following the U.S. missile strike on a Syrian air force base that was carried out in response to a chemical weapons attack reportedly ordered by al-Assad on his own civilians, tensions between the U.S. and Russia have escalated on counter accusations between these nuclear superpowers. This week saw the U.S. accuse Russia of prior knowledge of Syria’s intension to use chemical weapons, while Russia maintained that Syria was not to blame, and that local militia and extremists were responsible. The discourse soured further when the U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, received a “frosty” welcome in Moscow this week, with Russian officials accusing the U.S. of inconsistent foreign policy. On the Korean Peninsula, U.S. warships are reportedly positioning themselves as a show of force against North Korea following a missile test, and the possibility of another nuclear weapons test in the very near future. Statements from North Korea’s media have included threats of a nuclear attack on the U.S., although many experts doubt the ability of the rogue state to deliver a nuclear device at such a distance. Nevertheless, the focus will remain on the situation in North Korea as the nation celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of current president Kim Jong Un. The complex geopolitical landscape shaping up in Asia and the Middle East, together with President Trump ‘willing’ a weaker US dollar, have helped to bolster the gold price, finishing at $1,289 per ounce on Friday. Both silver (up 1.42%) and platinum (up 1.54%) also rose, finishing at $18.53 and $974 per ounce respectively. It was a different story for base metals, with copper (down 2.94%), nickel (down 3.34%), lead (down 2.03%) and zinc (down 3.48%) all lower. Finally, crude was up 2.64% this week while the Broker Average Price for Uranium (BAP) finished the week at $23.50 per pound.

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