TORONTO – The Toronto Stock Exchange finished lower Thursday after see-sawing most of the day as investor sentiment buoyed by higher commodity prices was finally overcome by concerns over renewed conflict in the Middle East.The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 59.57 points at 14,869.80, adding to a triple-digit plunge on Wednesday. The Canadian dollar rose 0.30 of a U.S. cent to 80.19 cents.U.S. markets also finished in the red after going into a tailspin Wednesday amid reports that a Saudi-led coalition was taking military action against rebel positions in neighbouring Yemen.Saudi Arabia has launched air strikes to oust Yemen’s Houthi rebels who forced the country’s embattled president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, to flee. The Saudis accuse Iran of backing the Houthis to destabilize the region and has the support of several regional powers, including Egypt and Jordan.Although not a major oil producer itself, Yemen sits astride straits that join the Red Sea and the Suez Canal with the Arabian Sea, an important energy trade route.“This situation, while currently playing out in Yemen, has broader implications for the region and that’s why the geo-political risk is higher than just looking at Yemen in isolation and why the reaction has probably been a little bit (strong),” said Gareth Watson, vice-president, investment management and research, Richardson GMP Ltd.“This just leads to further instability in the region and a continuation of that ongoing conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran,” Watson said, adding that while the conflict is not going to go away any time soon “we’ve probably seen the biggest component of the initial reaction to it.”The May oil contract closed up $2.22 at US$51.43 a barrel, the fifth consecutive increase, and the energy sector rose 0.39 per cent, one of only three sectors in positive territory along with information technology and health-care.April gold advanced $7.80 to US$1,204.80 an ounce, but the sector was down 1.89 per cent, making it the worst performing sector in Toronto.In New York, the Dow Jones Industrials fell 40.31 points to 17,678.23, while the Nasdaq lost 13.16 point to 4,863.36. The S&P 500 dropped 4.90 points to 2,056.15.In economic news, Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz defended his surprise January decision to cut the Bank of Canada’s key interest rate, telling an audience in London that it was needed to counter the stunning speed and magnitude of the drop in oil prices to levels less than half those of a year ago.Since then they have stabilized in a range “reasonably close” to the bank’s January predictions. “This made us feel increasingly comfortable with the amount of insurance we had already taken out,” he said, explaining why the bank decided to hold the rate steady earlier this month. The central bank’s next rate announcement comes April 15.On the corporate earnings front, Lululemon Athletica Inc. (Nasdaq:LULU) reported a slight increase in fourth-quarter earnings compared with a year ago amid a 16 per cent spike in sales. It also offered an encouraging outlook for 2015 and its shares shot up $3.01 or 4.93 per cent to US$63.97 on the Nasdaq. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Hugh McKenna, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 26, 2015 5:00 am MDT TSX closes in the red as conflict in Yemen offsets higher commodity prices
Cyanide, and the process of cyanidation, is the most efficient method for extracting gold and silver from low grade ore. However, it is highly toxic and its manufacture, transport and handling pose major safety and environmental challenges.Australia-based Synergen Met Pty Ltd, in collaboration with the University of Queensland (UQ), beat over 60 other entries to the Overall Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemical and Process Engineering in 2014 for their process plant that manufactures cyanide on location at the minesite.The development reduces costs by up to 50% and avoids the need to transport, store and handle large volumes of hazardous solid and liquid sodium cyanide. In addition to collecting the top prize, the Synergen Met and UQ entry, called “Modular On-site Cyanide Production Unit”, was also presented with the Core Chemical Engineering Award. Christopher Dunks, Managing Director at Synergen Met Pty Ltd, said: “This award validates the importance of our site based cyanide production unit and the paradigm shift it generates for the supply of cyanide to the global mining community. It also validates the important impact it will have on communities affected by mines and the impact of removing cyanide from transport networks.”“IChemE President, Professor Geoff Maitland, said: “Few professions have the power globally to shape and improve the future. Chemical engineers have this privilege and this year’s IChemE Global Awards illustrate how our profession is setting new standards in healthcare, energy, water, safety and a more sustainable planet, including supporting some of the poorest people in the world. The IChemE Global Awards − with the generous support of our sponsors − represent the hard work, inventiveness and achievements of thousands of chemical engineers across the world, and we are proud to host them on behalf of the profession. Congratulations to all of the shortlisted entries for this year’s IChemE Awards, and especially the winners, who have shown that chemical engineering really does matter.”The Awards – which celebrate excellence, innovation and achievement in the chemical and process industries – were hosted by BBC News’ Kate Silverton and held in association with Saudi Aramco at Cheltenham Racecourse on 6 November 2014.