TSX closes higher despite widening trade gap
The main index of the TSX closed higher for the first time this week Wednesday despite losses for financials and a larger-than-expected trade deficit.
Safe haven investments have gained post-Brexit and that has been good news for Canada’s gold producers with prices at a 2-year high. Oil also advanced Wednesday despite supply glut concerns.
Equities in Asian and European markets were generally lower but Wall Street joined Canada with gains across the three main indexes.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 11.49 (0.08 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed up 78.0 (0.44 per cent)
Oil is trending higher (Brent $48.79, WTI $47.41 at 4.35pm)
Gold is trending higher (1365.80 at 4.35pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7715
Canadian trade deficit static but exports down
Canada’s trade deficit with the rest of the world remained virtually unchanged in May compared with April, despite expectation that it would narrow. The $3.3 billion deficit came even as energy exports gained 7.1 per cent as prices increased while volumes declined.
Overall exports were down 0.7 per cent to $41.1 billion in May with volumes down 2.3 per cent while prices increased 1.6 per cent. Imports decreased 0.8 per cent to $44.4 billion, as volumes were down 0.9 per cent and prices edged up 0.2 per cent.
Exports to the United States were up 3.6 per cent to $32.1 billion and imports were down 1.1 per cent to $29.3 billion. As a result, Canada's trade surplus with the United States rebounded from a low of $1.3 billion in April to $2.8 billion in May.
Toronto home prices up 20 per cent
The housing affordability issue in Toronto has worsened as figures from the Toronto Real Estate Board show a 20 per cent rise in prices in June compared to a year earlier.
Detached homes in the 416 area code averaged $1.3 million, up 19.6 per cent while those in the outer 905 code were up 21 per cent to an average of near $900,000.
Tight supply continues to exacerbate the issue with inventory down 31 per cent in June from the same month of 2015.