TSX ends flat after bumpy ride
Thursday brought some turbulence to the Toronto Stock Exchange with oil prices stabilising but healthcare and materials stocks slipping. Meanwhile figures revealed that GDP gained in January but there was a decline in average weekly wages.
Asian markets closed mixed while Europe’s stocks were lower as caution dominated ahead of the US employment report Friday.
Wall Street closed mixed with only the Nasdaq closing higher.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 9.62 (0.07 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed down 31.70 (0.18 per cent)
Oil is trending mixed (Brent up at $39.57, WTI down at $38.16 at 4.15pm)
Gold is trending higher (1233.80 at 4.15pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7706
Manufacturing output leads GDP gains
Statistics Canada reported Thursday that real gross domestic product rose 0.6 per cent in January, a fourth consecutive monthly increase. The manufacturing sector built on its gains in December (1.1 per cent) with a 1.9 per cent rise in output. Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction turned around a 0.1 per cent decline in December with a 0.9 per cent rise in January.
There was also a big turnaround for retail, up 1.5 per cent following a 1.7 per cent drop in December. Utilities were up 2.7 per cent while financial services gained 0.6 per cent.
Fewer complaints about brokers in 2015
Complaints to the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada were down in 2015 to 1,341. Although just 9 below the 2014 figure it was a 21 per cent drop from five years ago following the financial crisis. However the IIROC said that its penalty collection rate fell to just 13.2 per cent of all fines from almost 20 per cent in 2014.
Wages dipped in January
Canada’s weekly wages dropped by 0.6 per cent in January, Statistics Canada said Thursday. Non-farm payroll employees were paid an average of $953 a week, down 0.7 per cent from the December rate. There was little change from a year earlier. Average hours were also lower though, at 32.9 per week in January compared to 33.3 in December.
In the year to January 2016, average weekly earnings increased in 5 of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by administrative and support services, accommodation and food services, and manufacturing. At the same time, earnings declined in wholesale trade and health care and social assistance.