Large losses for TSX as trade deficit grows
The Toronto Stock Exchange plunged by triple-digits Tuesday despite advancing oil prices. The market had started the day lower on expectation of trade figures for March and when the deficit was announced it was a record high of $3 billion. Wall Street also fell sharply as investors eyed economic data and bet on Fed interest rates. Earlier in the day Asian markets closed mixed following Australia’s interest rate cut and continuing weakness in China. European markets tracked Wall Street and Greece was also in focus; markets closed in the red.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 193.5 (1.26 per cent)
The NYSE closed lower (Dow fell 142.2)
Oil is trending higher (Brent $67.54, WTI $60.44 at 4.15pm)
Gold is trending higher
The loonie is valued at U$0.8283 (at 4.15pm)
Trade deficit hits record high
Canada’s trade deficit hit $3 billion in March as weak oil prices hurt exports. Statistics Canada released data Tuesday which showed that imports increased by 2.2 per cent from February to $45.5 billion while exports grew by just 0.2 per cent to $42.5 billion. February’s figures were also revised up to a deficit of $2.2 billion from its previous figure of $984 million. Export volumes increased by 1.9 per cent while value fell 1.5 per cent. Top performing exports were motor vehicles and parts. Consumer goods led the rise in imports.
BoC acts to protect Canada from future financial crises
The Bank of Canada has unveiled measures that it says will protect the country’s financial system in the event of a financial crisis. Lessons that were learnt in the last crisis have been incorporated into plans which include forcing institutions to have ‘living wills’ or be denied future bailouts. Private investors will also be able to buy more new government bonds.
Loonie outperforms other currencies says BMO
A report from BMO shows that in the last three months the Canadian dollar outperformed other major currencies. Weak oil prices saw the loonie drop sharply but it has since rallied, especially in the last six weeks. The report shows that Canada’s currency has increased by 4 per cent in the last three months while others such as the pound, euro and Swiss franc have declined.