Energy stocks remain weak; Still no Greek deal
Oil prices have once again hit energy stocks pulling Canada’s main stock index lower. World markets awaited news of further developments on Greek debt as European leaders meet in Brussels but nothing has been resolved. Finance ministers from the Eurozone countries will be meeting Saturday with the German chancellor suggesting that it could be the last chance for a deal. European markets managed to close higher despite the lack of resolution. Asian markets closed lower with China still suffering from a low-sentiment-fuelled sell-off.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 89.41 (0.60 per cent)
The NYSE closed mixed (Dow up 0.32 per cent; S&P, Nasdaq lower)
Oil is trending lower (Brent $63.16, WTI $59.59 at 4.15pm)
Gold is trending higher
The loonie is valued at U$0.8115 (at 4.15pm)
Pain in store; Sobeys cutting jobs, Sears ‘make or break’
Retailers in Canada are continuing to be under pressure and job cuts were announced at one Friday while another was given a ‘last chance’ report. Sobeys says that it is cutting 1300 jobs in its distribution and support operations in Ontario and Alberta as it integrates Safeway into the business. The cuts will come in 2016 and 2017. Meanwhile Sears Canada is facing its last chance to improve results according to a report from Desjardins’ Keith Howlett. The analyst says that “the next seven quarters are make or break” for the department store chain.
$20 million flood insurance lawsuit
A lawsuit claims that insurance companies failed to pay out on policies for seniors’ and assisted living properties hit by the Alberta floods in 2013. Ten companies are being sued by Foothills Foundation for $20 million. The court papers allege that payments are still outstanding for four High River and Black Diamond residential properties and an office building.
Tourism spending up says StatsCan
Tourism spending increased in the first quarter of 2015 according to new figures from Statistics Canada. Spending by Canadians rose 0.1 per cent while international tourists spent 0.3 per cent more. Air travel was the largest increase for Canadians while international visitors spent more on both air travel and accommodation. Food and beverage spending was slightly lower for all tourists. The tourism sector’s GDP grew by 0.4 per cent compared to the overall GDP which declined by 0.2 per cent in the first quarter.