Oil slumps again on Saudi minister’s comments
The Saudi Arabian oil minister Ali al-Naimi spoke in Houston Tuesday but his comments only managed to spook the fragile oil markets.
While the minister said that he expected agreement of a number of producing nations to freeze output, he ruled out any cuts. With output already higher than demand the freeze will not solve the glut. He advised producers that if they can’t cut costs then it might be time for them to exit the market.
Equities tumbled following the comments with broad losses across the major indexes in Europe and North America. Asian markets had closed earlier with losses as oil was already falling.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 82.19 (0.64 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed down 188.9 (1.14 per cent)
Oil is trending lower (Brent $33.41, WTI $31.88 at 4.25pm)
Gold is trending higher (1225.70 at 4.25pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7265
BMO, National report financial results
The first two big banks reported their financial results Tuesday. Bank of Montreal showed a 7 per cent rise in profit year-over-year to $1.1 billion. Its US personal and commercial banking and capital markets units showing significant increases; its Canadian divisions saw lower growth and credit losses increased. Meanwhile National Bank posted a 4 per cent rise in profit to $427 million, excluding its write-down on the Maple Financial Group. It too reported challenges in the domestic business.
Canadians becoming more concerned about the economy
A new poll by the Angus Reid Institute shows increasing anxiety about the economy among Canadians. Forty-seven per cent said the economy is their biggest ‘national issue’ concern; in December the figure was 37 per cent. By comparison just 22 per cent put job security as their top concern and terrorism is at 9 per cent. Those in Alberta and Atlantic Canada are most concerned about their provincial economies and their own finances.
BoC appoints deputy governor
The Bank of Canada has announced the appointment of Sylvain Leduc as Deputy Governor, effective 2 May 2016. He fills the gap left by the retirement of Agathe Côté in January. As Deputy Governor, Mr. Leduc will join the Bank’s Governing Council, which is the policy-making body of the Bank.