TSX closes higher as financials gain
The heavily-weighted financials sector helped the Toronto Stock Exchange close higher at the start of the short week of trading. Investors shrugged off the lower oil prices and falling Canadian dollar and were boosted by Monday’s record close on Wall Street. Earlier most Asian markets closed higher with Beijing announcing more stimulus for China and Japan staying optimistic ahead of the country’s GDP figures Wednesday. In Europe sentiment was boosted by the ECB saying that more asset-buying would continue, while Greek debt talks were looking more hopeful.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 12.90 (0.09 per cent)
The NYSE closed mixed (Dow was higher, S&P/Nasdaq slightly lower)
Oil is trending lower (Brent $64.16, WTI $57.30 at 4.20pm)
Gold is trending lower
The loonie is valued at U$0.8175 (at 4.20pm)
Poloz: economy on course for sustainable growth despite headwinds
The governor of the Bank of Canada said Tuesday that the Canadian economy is “once again on a course toward sustainable balanced growth, although it continues to face headwinds.” Stephen Poloz was addressing the Greater Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce and said there are a number of key indicators of the improving landscape. Non-energy exports are performing well and companies are likely to invest more as pressure rises on capacity. There is also a growth in new businesses. The BoC sees Canada returning to full economic capacity next year with Mr Poloz noting that the impact of the oil price decline has been “faster but not larger” than predicted.
Loonie drops 2C over the weekend
While Canadians were enjoying the holiday weekend the loonie took a break too; having been rising lately the dollar declined and is now 2 cents lower than it was on Friday. Better economic data from the US, especially new home starts, have boosted the greenback in the last two days. Oil prices are also lower putting additional pressure on Canada’s oil sector and wider economy.
Canadian consumer insolvencies on the rise
A new report from CIBC World Markets says that consumer insolvencies in Canada are on the rise and notes the “damage from lower oil prices” as a cause. In Saskatchewan and Manitoba there was an 11 per cent increase in personal insolvencies in the 6 months to February while Alberta saw a 6.5 per cent rise. Quebec insolvencies rose by 6 per cent, BC’s rate was flat and Ontario’s dropped by 7 per cent. Actual bankruptcies are declining but there has been a rise in the number of consumer proposals; an alternative to bankruptcy.
Shopify increases its price ahead of IPO
Ottawa’s Shopify lists on the New York and Toronto stock markets later this week and it has raised the price for its IPO to $16 per share from a previously expected $12-14. The share offer is now projected to raise around U$141 million. The firm’s revenue was $105 million last year although it has yet to record a profit.