Markets slump with oil, weak Canadian inflation data
Friday brought a negative end to the week for equities, commodities, the loonie and the economy as a slump in oil prices combined with worse-then-expected data.
The 4 per cent slide for oil prices started with a sell-off following recent gains and was exacerbated by a report suggesting that Saudi Arabia is not expecting a deal to cap output when producers meet in Algiers next week.
The main TSX index dropped as most of the major sectors lost ground except healthcare and IT. The index was further impacted by weak inflation and retail sales data.
Wall Street also closed lower along with Europe while Asian indexes closed mixed.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 99.25 (0.67 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed down 131.0 (0.71 per cent)
Oil is trending lower (Brent $46.08, WTI $44.69 at 4.30pm)
Gold is trending lower (1341.40 at 4.30pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7592
Inflation slows, retail sales slip
Inflation slowed in August to 1.1 per cent from 1.3 per cent in July. Statistics Canada reported Friday that the consumer price index had weakened despite higher prices in 7 of its 8 major components.
Smaller year-over-year gains in the food index and the recreation, education and reading index contributed the most to the slower pace of inflation.
Meanwhile, retail sales data released by StatsCan shows a decrease of 0.1 per cent in July to $44.1 billion. However, removing the impact of price changes, retails sale volume was up 0.3 per cent.
Five of the 11 subsectors saw lower sales led by receipts at gasoline stations which fell 3.0 per cent, the first decrease in 4 months.
The data releases have already promoted calls for a cut in interest rates.
Real estate groups reject calls for Toronto foreign buyers tax
A 15 per cent sales tax on foreign home buyers in the Greater Toronto Area is dividing opinion. Those in favour include former federal finance minister Joe Oliver. However, two real estate groups have said that it would be a “knee-jerk reaction” to a complex problem.
Toronto Real Estate Board and Ontario Real Estate Association have written to the provincial finance minister and Toronto mayor saying that the tax would do little to tackle affordability issues and say that more information is needed to understand the various impacts on the market.