Metals slump, oil jumps
Thursday’s session brought divergence in the commodities markets with metals falling as the US dollar gained strength while oil jumped almost 2 per cent.
The materials group led declining sectors on the main TSX index with energy also more than 1 per cent lower. Eight sectors closed lower while IT and telecoms gained. The index closed lower.
Wall Street closed mixed with the Dow holding above 20,000 while the S&P500 and Nasdaq closed with losses. European indexes were largely lower with the German DAX the notable exception. Most Asian indexes closed higher.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 28.32 (0.18 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed up 32.40 (0.16 per cent)
Oil is trending higher (Brent $56.15, WTI $53.75 at 4.35pm)
Gold is trending lower (1187.90 at 4.35pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7634
CMHC warns over hot housing markets
CMHC has issued a fresh warning over elevated prices and overvaluation in Canada’s major housing markets.
The warning was for the second consecutive quarter and although Vancouver and Toronto account for much of the strong price growth, there is also concern over Victoria and Hamilton.
While prices gained 7 per cent in the year to the end of the third quarter, without Ontario’s markets prices would have been essentially flat, CMHC reported.
Canadians are earning more, working more
Average weekly wages of non-farm payroll employees in Canada increased slightly in November, up 0.8 per cent from both the previous month and a year earlier, to $961.
At the same time, average hours edged up to 32.8 hours from 32.6 hours a month earlier, although down from the 33 hours of a year earlier.
Educational services, health care and social assistance, and manufacturing all saw higher wages and 5 of the 10 main sectors saw higher average wages in the 12 months to November. Wages declined for those working in administrative and support services and professional, scientific and technical services.
Tip Top Tailors, Mr Big & Tall parent insolvent
Retail group Grafton-Fraser Inc. has filed for protection from creditors and will close stores after being unable to manage debts, the Globe and Mail reports.
The parent company of brands including Tip Top Tailors and Mr Big & Tall closed the 37 Jones New York stores it bought in 2015 and the cost of that failed venture has added to the debt of Toronto-based Grafton-Fraser which stands at more than $100 million.
The creditor protection filing was made in the Ontario Superior Court.