Oil slips as stockpiles increase, TSX jumps anyway
Oil prices were down almost 2 per cent Wednesday as data showed US stockpiles have increased. This exacerbated doubts over the effectiveness of the recently-announced OPEC output deal.
As energy, telecoms and healthcare declined on the main TSX index, there were gains for the other seven sectors. Consumer staples led those gains while higher gold prices helped boost the materials group. The index overall closed with triple-digit gains.
Wall Street also closed notably higher; European indexes were also up ahead of the ECB’s interest rate decision and expected stimulus announcement in the next session. Asian markets were mostly higher.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 111.9 (0.74 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed up 297.8 (1.55 per cent)
Oil is trending lower (Brent $53.05, WTI $49.89 at 4.10pm)
Gold is trending higher (1175.20 at 4.10pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7549
Interest rates held as stronger global economy is forecast
The Bank of Canada decided to leave interest rates unchanged Wednesday and said that the global economy is showing signs of strengthening. However, business confidence and investment is still a concern in Canada.
The bank says that there is still slack in the economy compared to the US economy with exports and investment continuing to disappoint. Housing finance rules introduced recently should mitigate household imbalances, it said.
Growth for the fourth quarter of 2016 is likely to be slower than in the third quarter, which had rebounded from the first half of the year. The bank said that the impact on GDP of new infrastructure spending was not yet evident.
Debt, delinquency rates rise in oil producing provinces
Canadian households have increased their average debt by 3.6 per cent this quarter compared to a year ago. Equifax Canada says that average debt is now $22,081.
Meanwhile, delinquency rates nationally were largely unchanged but Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland saw higher rates.
Overall, the credit bureau says that Canadians continue to manage their debts responsibly.