Sentiment, oil price higher leading to TSX triple-digit close
A wave of optimism helped the Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index close with triple-digit gains Thursday. The positive mood was boosted by rising oil prices and some global data that added to the general sentiment. Wall Street also closed marginally higher having digested mixed economic data. US economists are awaiting the consumer price index and a speech from Fed chair Janet Yellen both due Friday. Asian markets had closed earlier mostly higher despite a PMI flash for China showing continued contraction in its factories, although the figures were not as bad as expected. European PMI data was also in focus with figures showing weakness although staffing levels were picking up pace and the markets closed higher.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 130.8 (0.87 per cent)
The NYSE closed higher.
Oil is trending higher (Brent $66.47, WTI $60.61 at 4.15pm)
Gold is trending lower.
The loonie is valued at U$0.8187 (at 4.15pm)
Canada’s interest rates could be cut to zero says Fidelity’s Wolf
David Wolf of Fidelity Investments says that the Bank of Canada may end up slashing interest rates to zero in the next 6 to 18 months. With oil prices showing more strength and the Canadian dollar increasing its value, Wolf says the non-energy exports that governor Stephen Poloz wants to grow may struggle. Speaking at a Bloomberg conference in Toronto Mr Wolf said he was not expecting a recession in Canada but “I’m sure thinking sluggish growth.”
CPP has best annual growth in its history
Canada’s national pension fund has achieved record growth in the fiscal year that ended in March. The CPP is now worth more than $260 billion and increased $45.5 billion in the year. Contributions were a small part of the increase, around $5 billion, with investments returns adding the rest.
Employment insurance claims up in March
There were 5,900 more people claiming employment insurance in March compared to February. Statistics Canada released the latest EI figures Thursday which show that 517,900 people received the regular EI benefits in the month, a rise of 1.1 per cent. In Alberta there were 8.9 per cent more claimants with an increase of 3.9 per cent in Saskatchewan, 2.8 per cent in Nova Scotia, 2.2 per cent in Newfoundland & Labrador and 2.0 per cent in Manitoba. BC and PEI saw slight gains, Ontario and New Brunswick were little changed and there was a slight decrease in Quebec.
Shopify IPO raises $131 million, shares soar
The IPO from Shopify raised $131 million and investors were rewarded with a surge in its share price on Wall Street adding 51.7 per cent to their value. Earlier in the day Shopify’s CEO Tobias Lutke had the honour of ringing the New York Stock Exchange’s opening bell.
Luxury retailer Coach lays off workers
A restructuring plan at Coach means that part-time workers are losing their jobs. The Huffington Post reports that the luxury retailer wants only employees who can work at least 30 hours a week. The workers affected were given the legal requirement of 6 weeks’ notice but are not understood to be receiving any severance pay.