If you have ever laid around on the couch wondering, “Just how much would a diamond the size of a tennis ball cost?”, you now have your answer. It is approximately $90 million Canadian. That is a lot of loonies. The biggest single diamond mined in over a century (and the second largest ever) was pulled out of the ground way back in November by Canadian miner Lucara in their Botswana operation. It measures a hefty 1,109 carats. It is being auctioned off by Sotheby’s in June in the UK and has attracted quite the attention. Large and expensive diamonds were selling well last year. The highest paid so far for a diamond ever was last year when a 12 carat blue diamond went for $61.5 million…that someone bought for their 7-year-old.
Well-known mall staple Aeropostale filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday this week. The American retailer will still remain open in parts of the US, but is closing all 41 Canadian stores. Aeropostale has been struggling for a while and was actually delisted from trading last year for having a stock price below $1 for a long period of time. Many exchanges require a stock price be constantly above $1 to be a listed on their exchange. Aeropostale is not alone in their struggles in their sector as many teen-focused companies are also on the risk of financial peril. This article highlights Quiksilver and American Apparel as other casualties. They are getting pushed out by two main factors: competition from fast fashion houses like Forever 21, but also, and more troubling for the retailers, changing consumer behavior. Teens and tweens seem to be spending their money on things other than clothing, moving toward electronics with their allowance and babysitting cash. If you area fan of their wares, know that bankruptcy does not mean end of the brand (which has actually been around since the 80’s). It buys them some time to straighten things out and create new plan for success. That plan could still mean selling off all of their assets, but only time will tell.
It has been a rough week for our loonie. The Canadian dollar traded at 80 cents for a time on Friday before closing just below last week. This week was a completely different story with our dollar selling down over a full cent on Tuesday and almost another cent on Wednesday to close at 77.70 cents US. That is a massive move for a currency. A cent move over the course of a week is normal, not a day. The loonie was selling off due to some bad economic trade data. In March Canada had the lowest trade surplus with the US since 1993. The more people want to trade with us and buy our things, the more people need to buy our dollar. It could take a month or more before our loonie hits 80 cents again.