Oil declines again dragging stocks lower
Oil prices fell below $40 by close of the session Wednesday before recovering slightly. The main index of the Toronto Stock Exchange closed down more than 1 per cent.
Wall Street was also lower on oil prices and Fed speakers giving further hints that an earlier rate rise is likely.
Elsewhere Asian markets closed mixed as China looked set to boost its flagging property market and European indexes were also mixed ahead of the ECB meeting Thursday.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 172.2 (1.26 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed down 158.7 (0.89 per cent)
Oil is trending lower (Brent $42.74, WTI $40.15 at 4.20pm)
Gold is trending lower (1052.40 at 4.20pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7492
BoC holds interest rates steady
The Bank of Canada announced Thursday that it is keeping interest rates at 0.5 per cent. In making the announcement the BoC said that the global and Canadian economies are broadly in line with its expectations and that the risks around the domestic inflation profile remain balanced. However the bank again flagged the risk of rising household debt.
RBC profit hits record high
Royal Bank of Canada has reported its fourth-quarter results with profits up 11 per cent compared to the same period in 2014 at $2.59 billion. Annual profits were also up 11 per cent to $10.03 billion, a new record. Quarterly earnings were $1.74 per common share, beating analysts expectations.
Debts getting bigger but Canadians can still meet payments
Household debt continues to grow but a new report from Equifax shows that Canadians are keeping up with their payments. Delinquency rates fell to their lowest for 6 years with just 1.05 per cent of consumer credit loans more than 90 days overdue. However the oil-dependent provinces are struggling more than the national average with a surge in delinquencies of 13.4 per cent in the third quarter in Alberta; an 8.4 per cent rise in Saskatchewan; and a 5.8 per cent rise in Newfoundland.