Oil prices, bond yields push Canadian stocks higher
The current rise in oil prices and higher bond yields have been good news for the energy and financial sectors respectively. Wall Street also gained as economic data and positive signs in Greek debt talks buoyed the markets. European indexes also closed higher as a deal with Greece looked more likely. Asian markets closed with losses as the Chinese economy continued to show weakness. Only Australia ended higher among the main indexes.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 71.33 (0.48 per cent)
The NYSE closed higher (Dow up 235.8)
Oil is trending higher (Brent $65.61, WTI $61.17 at 4.15pm)
Gold is trending higher
The loonie is valued at U$0.8151 (at 4.15pm)
Canadian dollar on the rise
The loonie has been trending higher over the last few days and is now worth more than 81.5 US cents. The growth is being attributed to a weaker greenback after President Obama was reported to have said the high value of the US dollar was a problem; the White House denied he said that. CBC reports that Friday’s jobs data and higher commodity prices are also pushing the loonie higher but warns that if the Fed increases interest rates in its June 17 meeting then Canada’s currency would suffer.
Canadians working harder just to pay taxes
A report from the Fraser Institute says that Canadians are now working an extra day just to pay taxes and it will get worse. Tax Freedom Day today (Wednesday) is based on the idea that every cent earned so far this year will pay taxes but from now until year-end the cash is yours. The Fraser Institute says that the day is one later than last year and that the average tax burden for a family with two income earners now at $44,980. The study concludes that households will have to wait longer if taxes continue to rise; federal tax cuts are often cancelled out by provincial rises.
Group calls for end to new oilsands projects
A group of 100 scientists from the US and Canada have called for an end to new oilsands projects. It cites environmental impact, the need to break free of reliance on fossil fuels and aboriginal concerns as some of the reasons why Canada should start to slow down its oil production. The letter from the group has been sent to the federal government including Prime Minister Stephen Harper.