TSX closes higher, Home Capital drops 20 per cent
The main TSX index managed a positive close to the session Thursday despite volatile prices for oil and a sharp drop for Home Capital following the OSC launched proceedings against the firm and some former executives.
Energy was one of four sectors closing with losses which also included utilities, healthcare and financials. The financials sector’s loss was minimal though as gains for big banks helped offset the 20 per cent plunge for Home Capital. Materials led the gains for 6 sectors as gold prices stabilized.
Wall Street and Europe closed higher on earnings; Asian indexes were mixed.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 72.68 (0.47 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed 174.2 (0.85 per cent)
Oil is trending lower (Brent $52.87, WTI $50.26 at 4.20pm)
Gold is trending higher (1283.30 at 4.20pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7422
Ontario announces Fair Housing Plan
The Ontario government has given full details of its range of measures designed to cool the hot housing markets of Toronto and other parts of the province.
Called the Fair Housing Plan, there are 16 key elements which aim to help more people find affordable homes, increase supply, protect buyers and renters and bring stability to the real estate market.
Adding to increased data required from those registering land from Monday, the plan also paves the way for a 15 per cent foreign buyers tax and a vacant homes tax, an expansion of rent control, increase supply of affordable housing and incentivize developers towards purpose-built rental units.
EI beneficiaries return to pre-rule-change level
The number of regular beneficiaries of Employment Insurance declined in February to 554,200, a similar number to June 2016, before rules were changed.
The 2.1 per cent drop representing 11,700 beneficiaries was driven by above-average declines in Saskatchewan (down 4.1 per cent), Alberta (down 3.6 per cent) and Quebec (3.4 per cent). BC, Ontario and Manitoba saw smaller declines while Nova Scotia increased 2.6 per cent and PEI was up 1.5 per cent.
Year-over-year there were 0.7 per cent more regular EI beneficiaries.