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The week in Canadian markets is ending with a clear sense that our economy is heating up as Omicron cases surge.

There were just under 7,000 COVID cases reported yesterday, with spikes over the last seven days centred on Ontario and Quebec.

The federal government has once again warned against non-essential international travel with additional border measures potentially on the way.

Theresa Tham, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, has also recommended against all mass gatherings, even for the fully vaccinated.

These precautions emerge with inflation at 4.72 per cent, the highest since 1991, and Canadian house prices jumping more than 25 per cent in November from the year prior.

Inflation has now surpassed the Bank of Canada’s 1-3 per cent control range for the eighth straight month as supply chain constraints force Christmas shoppers to pay up to cross items off their lists.

While our market is pricing in five interest rate hikes in 2022, Fed Chair Jerome Powell recently laid out guidelines for eight increases through 2024 on top of speeding up the drawdown of its asset-purchase program. A shift in stocks’ technology-driven bull run seems to already be in effect.

The MSCI World Growth Index is down 1.6 per cent in December, while its value-focused counterpart is up nearly 4 per cent.

Responding to tighter monetary policy, oil also experienced its first decline in three days, with WTI down to US$70.88 as of 12:46 pm EST. The move can also be tied to a surplus in supply due to rising Omicron travel restrictions, as the International Energy Agency pointed out this week.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index, up 0.15 per cent as of 12:40 pm EST, and down just over four per cent for the month, is entering the holiday season with an appropriately apprehensive outlook.

The tension between our desire to spend time with loved ones after extended absences and yet another virus variant to worry about is hardly cause for merriment, to say the least. Yet, with Ottawa expediting booster shot deliveries and ramping up vaccination campaigns across the country, a well-earned respite may well be in our sights.

Leading into Christmas week, The Market Herald Canada readers are keen on opportunities in the mining space in line with rising inflation.

C3 Metals (TSXV:CCCM) releases assay results from the Montaña de Cobre and Cresta Verde zones

C3 Metals has provided updates on its drilling programs at the Montaña de Cobre and Cresta Verde zones.

It has produced highly encouraging initial sulphide drilling results from the Cresta Verde Zone.

It has also expanded high-grade copper-gold oxide mineralization at the Montaña de Cobre Zone.

Stephen Hughes, VP of Exploration at C3 Metals, sat down with Dave Jackson to discuss the results.

C3 Metals (CCCM) is down by 3.33 per cent over the past week trading at $0.14 per share as of 11:08 am EST.

Sitka Gold (CSE:SIG) announces assay results from the RC Gold Project

Sitka Gold has released assay results from diamond drill hole DDRCCC-21-021 from the 2021 exploration program at its RC Gold Project.

Highlights include 220.1 m of 1.17 g/t gold, including 0.2 m of 35.70 g/t gold and 0.5 m of 9.81 g/t gold.

The drill results reflect what the company believes to be a structurally controlled, high-grade gold corridor running throughout the large intrusion-related gold system.

Corwin Coe, Sitka’s CEO, sat down with Caroline Egan to highlight the exciting results.

Sitka Gold (SIG) is up by 26.09 per cent over the past week trading at $0.14 per share as of 11:05 am EST.

Portofino (TSXV:POR) announces properties update and acquisition

Portofino Resources has provided updates on its current and ongoing exploration activities and lithium property acquisitions.

The company has been advised that a permit for the Yergo Lithium Project in Argentina will be approved shortly. The permit will allow the implementation of an inaugural four-hole drill program.

It also executed an agreement to acquire the Greenheart Lake and McNamara Lake lithium properties. Each is proximal to a triple junction of three terrane boundaries.

The total consideration includes staged payments of C$67,800 in cash and 500,000 common shares over the next three years.

Portofino Resources (POR) is down by 12.5 per cent over the past week trading at $0.10 per share as of 10:23 am EST.

Sprout AI (CSE:BYFM) files patent for indoor vertical cultivation habitat technology

Sprout AI has filed a patent for Sprout V2, the newest version of its indoor vertical cultivation habitat technology.

When coupled with the company’s software, Sprout V2 maximizes the use of space within confined, high-priced urban locations.

Chris Bolton, Sprout AI’s CEO, spoke with Caroline Egan about the new technology.

Sprout AI (BYFM) is up by 3.33 per cent over the past week trading at $0.16 per share as of 11:29 am EST.

Loncor Gold (TSX:LN) announces PEA results for its Adumbi gold deposit

Loncor Gold (LN) has announced the results of the preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for its Adumbi gold deposit.

The results demonstrate a robust project with an average of over 300,000 ounces of gold per year over 10 years with low total cash costs.

The company will engage in drilling-based studies to determine the viability of a combined open pit and underground mining scenario at the deposit.

John Barker, CEO of Loncor Gold, joined Caroline Egan to shed light on the results.

Loncor Gold (LN) is down by 6.41 per cent over the past week trading at $0.73 per share as of 11:02 am EST.

Tune in next Friday afternoon for your survey of the week that was in the Canadian market.

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