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Canadian miners’ performance slipped in the three months leading to the end of September, due mostly to weaker gold, nickel, copper and zinc prices, the latest report by consultancy Ernst & Young (EY) reveals.

Following a 5% drop between April and June this year, gold prices decreased by another 5% in the third quarter, mainly due to the strong US dollar and the recent Federal Reserve rate hike of 0.25% in September.

Copper prices, in turn, fell about 14% after hitting a 3.5-year high in June and nickel prices decreased 16% in the period, compared with a 12% gain in Q2.

As a result, EY’s Canadian Mining Eye index — which tracks the performance of 100 Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange mid-tier and junior mining companies — dropped 12% in the third quarter of the year when compared to the previous three-month period.

Canadian miners’ performance in Q3 hit by lower metal prices

Source: EY Canadian Mining Eye Q3.

"Despite the decline in prices, most of the large-cap gold companies are looking to finish the year strong," Jay Patel, EY Canada Mining & Metals Transactions Leader said. "Because of improving grades and production ramp-ups, most senior companies have maintained their production guidance for the year."

Looking ahead, the experts say, gold prices are expected to benefit from the ongoing trade tariffs imposed by the US. Also, the upcoming seasonal demand for physical gold, mainly from China and India, will likely support the upward trajectory of prices, the team predicts.

Canadian miners’ performance in Q3 hit by lower metal prices

Source: EY Canadian Mining Eye Q3.

The near-term possibility of one more rate hike this year and likely three more in 2019 are expected to strengthen the US dollar and act as a headwind to gold prices, they noted....

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