Markets decline as oil drops, Fed gives clue
North American equities dipped Wednesday as oil prices slumped on a weaker greenback and higher US inventories. Then there were the words of Fed chair Janet Yellen who said that an interest rate rise with a “live possibility” in December.
Even a narrowing of Canada’s trade deficit in September was not enough to stop a loss for the day’s trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Wall Street also closed in negative territory while Europe closed mixed with Germany dragged lower by a 9.5 per cent decline by VW. Asian markets were mostly higher.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 48.49 (0.35 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed down 50.57 (0.28 per cent)
Oil is trending lower (Brent $48.75, WTI $46.51 at 4.10pm)
Gold is trending lower (1106.50 at 4.10pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7601
New finance minister announced
Bill Morneau has been named as the new federal finance minister. The Toronto MP was formerly executive chair of pensions management firm Morneau Shepell but as a new MP has no parliamentary experience. That knowledge gap is filled by others in his economic team including Chrystia Freeland and Navdeep Bains. One of Mr Morneau’s first major roles will be to prepare the fall fiscal update and to clarify what changes the Liberal government will be bringing in for the 2016 tax year.
Trade deficit narrows as exports increase
Canada's imports declined 1.3 per cent in September while exports increased 0.7 per cent. Import volumes fell 2.1 per cent and prices increased 0.8 per cent. For exports, volumes were up 0.7 per cent and prices were unchanged. Consequently, Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world narrowed from $2.7 billion in August to $1.7 billion in September. Trade with the US declined with imports down 0.4 per cent and exports down 0.3 per cent. Imports from other countries declined 3.1 per cent while exports were up 4 per cent.
Valeant investigated by US Senate
The US Senate formally announced an investigation into drugs pricing by Canadian firm Valeant Pharmaceuticals Wednesday. Three other drugs companies have also been asked for documents. A hearing is scheduled for December 9. Valeant’s shares were down around 3 per cent on the news.