Energy, financials drag TSX lower but it ends flat
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index was trading lower Thursday as energy stocks retained losses from the previous session’s shock win for the NDP in Alberta’s election. Oil prices were also in reverse further punishing the sector. As is often the case financials were also dragged lower. Wall Street gained after losses Wednesday as bond yields dropped a little making equities more attractive, although caution continues ahead of tomorrow’s jobs data. Asian markets closed lower with concern over Australia’s growth and China’s tightening of margin financing. Europe closed flat with London closing lower ahead of tonight’s general election results.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 64.93 (0.43 per cent)
The NYSE closed higher
Oil is trending lower (Brent $65.46, WTI $58.88 at 4.15pm)
Gold is trending lower
The loonie is valued at U$0.8243 (at 4.15pm)
Manulife profits fall but dividend is boosted
Manulife Financial Corp has announced its first quarter results and revealed that tough times for investments have cut its profits. The insurer reported that its net profit was down to $723 million (36 cents per share) from $818 million (42 cents per share) a year ago. The company’s chief financial officer said that investments did not work out as expected due to market conditions especially gas and oil holdings. The core insurance activity of the company did increase profit though. Manulife shareholders will receive a 17 cents per share dividend after a surprise 10 per cent increase was announced.
Bombardier to spin-off trains business
Bombardier Transportation will be spun-off into a new company, probably listed in Germany, as part of a turnaround plan announced Thursday. Bombardier’s new CEO Alain Bellemare said that the company would be more open and transparent and that he is looking at each division to assess if changes are required. It is likely that the spin-off will happen in the fourth quarter.
Rogers Media cuts 100 jobs and cuts newscasts
Rogers Media announced job cuts Thursday and the ending of newscasts on its OMNI stations. The struggling division of Rogers Communications has lost ad revenue in recent years and losses for 2014 were more than $85 million.
Blackberry…but without the keyboard
Devotees of Blackberry who cite the physical keyboard as one of its USP’s won’t be rushing to pick up the Ontario company’s latest model. The Leap was launched today with only a touchscreen keyboard, something last tried with the X30 a couple of years back. A number of carriers are stocking the Leap and it will be free on most two year contracts or can be bought for $349.