Positive finish for the TSX but commodities remain weak
The main TSX index closed higher Friday, ending a week of highs and lows. Commodities remain weak though with gold lower while oil gained during the session but was 1.7 per cent down over the week.
Energy and materials were the weakest group sectors while utilities and healthcare gained. Markets also watched Canadian inflation figures which showed a 2.0 per cent rise for February, down from 2.1 in January; it had expected to remain at that level for February.
Wall Street closed mixed with only the Nasdaq gaining following the news that the House was expected to cancel Donald Trump’s new healthcare bill.
European markets were also mixed while Asian indexes were mostly higher.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 9.06 (0.06 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed down 59.86 (0.29 per cent)
Oil is trending higher (Brent $51.00, WTI $48.14 at 5.10pm)
Gold is trending lower (1243.30 at 5.10pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7476
HSBC warns on debts, house prices
Global bank HSBC is warning that household debt and high house prices are a risk to the Canadian economy.
It’s the latest large lender to express concern about the combined risks, although HSBC says the household debt levels are not yet at the alarm bell stage.
House prices and credit growth though are more worrying, the bank says. Citing a recent report from the Bank of International Settlements HSBC says that financial stability risks are growing, especially when interest rates increase.
Green light for Keystone XL…maybe
TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline has been approved by President Trump but the markets aren’t getting excited yet. Global News reports that some analysts are skeptical that the long-awaited project will actually be completed.
That’s because there are still hurdles, including Nebraska landowners and lawmakers to give green light while environmental groups are also keen to see the project cancelled.
There is also concern about increased competition and lower prices, two factors that have come to light due to the delayed approval process.