TSX closes lower as oil, political tension weighs
Tension in the Middle East and North Korea has created an extra burden on low oil prices and US crude slipped below $34 Wednesday.
Energy and financial stocks were the hardest hit on the main TSX index while gold producers reaped their rewards from investors’ desire for less risky options than equities.
Wall Street has also closed lower as news of North Korea’s H-bomb test added to the ongoing tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Asia’s major markets closed lower with China the exception and European indexes fell with oil prices, which Deloitte says will stay below $50 through until 2017 and then begin to rise towards $80 by 2020.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 193.3 (1.50 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed down 252.1 (1.47 per cent)
Oil is trending lower (Brent $34.34, WTI $33.99 at 4.10pm)
Gold is trending higher (1092.90 at 4.10pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7097
Exports rise narrowing trade deficit
Canada's imports decreased 0.7 per cent in November and exports increased 0.4 per cent, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday. Import volumes declined 1.6 per cent while prices increased 0.9 per cent. For exports, volumes were up 0.7 per cent while prices declined 0.4 per cent. As a result, Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world narrowed from $2.5 billion in October to $2.0 billion in November.
Miner lays off 100 as copper prices tumble
Oil isn’t the only commodity that’s been under pressure recently; copper prices are also in decline and the drop has led one BC miner to announce 100 job losses Wednesday. Vancouver’s Imperial Metals said that it will close the Huckleberry mine having tried to cut costs to mitigate the lower price; currently at U$2.06 per pound, roughly where they were in the summer of 2009.
Blackberry jumps on board self-driving cars
Blackberry’s QNX division says it will develop software for the burgeoning driverless car industry. The Ontario firm already operates in the motor industry through software for entertainment and navigation systems but this would move it into competition with Google and Tesla.