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12/29/16

Ten random predictions for 2017

Here we go with the IKN Never-Fail Forecasts* for the year to come. As per the last three years we're sticking to the same general format and a mix of financial, politics and sport. After scoring 5.5/10 in 2013, 6/10 in 2014, 5.5/10 in 2015 and 6/10 in 2016 (financials good, sport mediocre, politics bad) the trend is intact, I'll need to keep up that kind of result number and break the 50/50 barrier again, but as always part of the deal is to go for a real left-field call or two and try hard to fail in a few:

*some restrictions apply

So to business:
1) Gold to break through U$1,400/oz in the course of 2017. I'm setting a higher bar this time, $1.4k looks a long way away here at the back end of 2016, but once the Trump Honeymoon wears off and people realize his macro policy is dollar bearish money is going to return to gold. That's the call and it also means IKN expects an excellent year for the precious metals stocks.
2) Copper to break through U$3.10/lb this year. This is also a weak dollar play in part, but it's more about China and the way its economy will pick up as 2017 goes on. I've gone for U$3.10/lb (spot price) to make it just a little more interesting than the more obvious $3.00 line.
3) Uranium will finally put in a rally and move back above U$30/lb. It's been such an easy call to fade the U-Permabulls these last three years, but even stopped clocks get it right twice a day and the one thing we can comfortably predict from a Trump presidency is a new focus on uranium. If you discount the way it turns glass those pretty green colours it only has two real uses and both are likely to get more play from this new Prez.
4) Goldcorp (GG) to merge with Agnico Eagle (AEM). Because Garofalo and Boyd are BFFs, because one has cash and a shitty asset book, because the other has assets and a lack of cash, because GG has been an abject failure in the last three years and David needs to do something before the activist shareholders come around begging for his head.
5) Colombia to become the LatAm mining success story of 2017. The country is finally getting its formal mining ducks in line, FDI will like the roll-out of the peace deal, there are already some good stories there that will get better.
6) Venezuela's government to implode. This is a repeat prediction from last year and one that failed me, but Maduro can't hold on much longer and the oft-delayed recall election is going to be difficult to put off for another year. Once again the acid test of this call will be the ousting or resignation of Maduro, if that happens I win the point.
7) Mauricio Macri and his government to lose heavily in the Argentina mid-term elections. Some happen in August, the big batch in late October/Early November (final date not set yet) and we expect Macri to be a lame duck president once it's all finished. Sergio Massa the likely beneficiary.
8) Juan Martín Del Potro to win at least one Grand Slam tournament in 2017 (Oz, R.Garros, Wimbledon, US). After years in the injury wilderness Delpo returned in style in 2016, first from his near-miracle run in the Olympics, then improving on the Tour, then leading Argentina to its first ever Davis Cup. Now we await the consecration and the long-overdue second GS win.
9) Barcelona to win the 2017 Champion's League and Spanish Primera double. Real has a decent head start on Culé in the league right now, but In Leo We Trust. And by the way, no half points available on this call, both have to happen else it's zero points for me.
10) The UK will not invoke Article 50 before the end of March 2017, the way its PM May said it would just a few weeks ago. The sooner you realize Brexit is one big red herring, the better.

There you go, our Ten For The Prize in 2017, expect the usual postmortem post around next Christmas.