TSX closes flat, oil up 1 per cent
Canadian equities closed flat Thursday as financial stocks were dragged lower by National Bank’s announcement on bad loans and energy firms declined as the Alberta’s wildfires disrupt supplies.
Oil prices rose more than 3 per cent before moderating by the session close as the Canadian fires and unrest in Libya prompted supply concerns.
Wall Street closed mixed ahead of jobs data Friday. Asian and European markets were also mixed with regional earnings and data in focus.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 0.01 (0.00 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed down 9.45 (0.05 per cent)
Oil is trending higher (Brent $45.15, WTI $44.45 at 5pm)
Gold is trending higher (1279.80 at 5pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7772
National Bank profit lower on bad loan reserves
National Bank said Thursday that it would set aside $250 million in preparation for losses from bad loans to the energy sector. It means that the bank is likely to show profits of around half the amount that analysts have been forecasting for the second quarter. The bank announces those results on June 1.
National is the second bank this week to announce provisions for loans to the oil and gas industry; Canadian Western is setting aside $40 million to cover its potential losses.
Oilsands cut 1 million barrels per day as fires rage
The Alberta oilsands have cut 1 million barrels a day from their output as the wildfires rage on. More facilities were reduced or shut down Thursday as the fires spread to communities south of Fort McMurray.