TSX closes lower despite early gains; Fed minutes weighed
The main index of the Toronto Stock Exchange started the day with all main sectors gaining but by the end of the session it just tipped into the red. Better commodity prices led the gains while investors waited for the latest minutes from the Federal Reserve. The main takeaway from the report was that the US central bank appears in no rush to increase interest rates, making a June rise unlikely. The next clue may come from Janet Yellen’s speech at an event on Friday. Elsewhere Asian markets were mixed although Tokyo was the clear leader with Japan’s 2.4 per cent rise in GDP exceeding expectations. Europe’s major markets closed higher despite concern over Greece’s ability to continue debt repayments. Germany was the weak performer closing with losses.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 48.19 (0.32 per cent)
The NYSE closed lower (except Nasdaq)
Oil is trending higher (Brent $64.77, WTI $58.73 at 4.15pm)
Gold is trending higher
The loonie is valued at U$0.8196 (at 4.15pm)
BC signs $36 billion LNG agreement with Petronas
British Columbia has signed an agreement with Malaysian energy firm Petronas as a step towards a $36 billion liquefied petroleum gas plant in the province. The project near Prince Rupert would see the largest ever investment in BC and with royalties could bring almost $8 billion in revenue over the 23 years of the proposed project’s lifespan. The legislature will be recalled to approve the agreement.
Wholesale sales up 0.8 per cent
Wholesale sales increased by 0.8 per cent in March to $53.9 billion and increased by 1 per cent in volume. Building material and supplies; food, beverage and tobacco; personal and household supplies; and motor vehicle and parts all increased. Ontario and BC saw gains while Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Nova Scotia saw decline.
Household debt is under control says Fraser Institute
The Fraser Institute says that fears over the rising level of household debt in Canada are overstated. Despite consumers carrying record levels of debt the institute’s Phillip Cross said that in most cases the debt is being used for positive reasons such as education, a new business and buying a home. In his report he said that most Canadians are managing their debt well and despite the levels of debt, the cost of loans and mortgages is falling.