TSX ends flat, Manulife drags
Global stocks were generally higher Thursday as regional influences together with rising oil prices boosted sentiment.
The main TSX index closed basically flat as the heavily-weighted financials sector was dragged lower by Manulife following its results. Transport was hit too as Canadian Pacific lost its backing from influential investor William Ackman’s hedge fund.
Wall Street closed flat, with the Dow closing just the wrong side of the line while the S&P500 and Nasdaq edged above.
European markets closed higher following the Bank of England’s interest rate cut. Mark Carney halved the main rate to 0.25 per cent amid concern of impending post-Brexit recession.
Asian markets were boosted by a stronger Nikkei as Japan’s exporters applauded a weaker yen against the greenback.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 16.73 (0.12 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed down 2.95 (0.02 per cent)
Oil is trending higher (Brent $44.14, WTI $41.74 at 4.25pm)
Gold is trending higher (1366.90 at 4.25pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7680
Manulife shares lose 5.5 per cent as earnings fall short
Canada’s largest life insurer reported results which disappointed investors Thursday. With earnings of 40 cents per share, the firm fell 5 cents short of analysts’ expectations. Manulife Financial’s stocks dropped 5.5 per cent despite net income up 17 per cent to $704 million.
However, slowing business in its Asian unit together with a potential $500 million charge for a review of some of the assumptions made in its underwriting, was enough to make investors nervous.
Tim Hortons global footprint to grow
The boss of Tim Hortons owner Restaurant Brands International said Thursday that he wants the Canadian coffee brand to be as big as the parent’s other sibling Burger King.
CEO Daniel Schwartz told analysts that he believes both brands have room to grow, although Tim Hortons has fewer than a third of the outlets worldwide as BK and is less well-known outside of North America.
The parent announced that its net income grew in the second-quarter to U$90.9 million (38 cents per common share) from U$11.0 million (5 cents) a year earlier. Revenue was flat but currency fluctuations boosted profits. Tim Hortons sales were up 2.7 per cent while BK gained 0.6 per cent.