TSX flat as gold drags, oil rises
Canada’s main equity index gained 1.7 per cent this week but closed flat Friday as gold miners dragged while energy stocks were supported by a new rise for oil prices.
There was also better news for retailers with increased sales figures; and inflation was down slightly in March.
Elsewhere, Wall Street closed mixed with the Dow and S&P flat while the tech-focused Nasdaq was off by 0.80 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed as Sydney and Hong Kong dipped while Toyo led the gains, boosted by a weakened yen against the greenback.
Europe closed lower but was up around 1.5 per cent for the week.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 7.22 (0.05 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed up 21.23 (0.12 per cent)
Oil is trending higher (Brent $45.13, WTI $43.73 at 4.35pm)
Gold is trending lower (1234.20 at 4.35pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7893
Inflation declines slightly, food prices rise
Statistics Canada reported its Consumer Price Index Friday and showed a headline rate of inflation slightly lower in the 12 months to March at 1.3 per cent; compared to the 1.4 per cent in the 12 months to February.
Gasoline prices advanced 5.7 per cent in March but their year-above-year decline of 13.6 per cent was a cooling factor for inflation; without gasoline the 12 months to March showed a 1.9 per cent rise.
Food prices increased 3.6 per cent, following a 3.9 per cent rise in February and together with shelter were the largest upward influence on the index.
Retailers show strength in Canada’s economy
Retail sales were higher for a second consecutive month in February. StatsCan revealed that 9 of the 11 main retail sectors gained and pushed the overall trade up 0.4 per cent to $44.2 billion. Again, gasoline subdued the rise, which would be 1 per cent excluding them. In volume terms, and without gasoline, sales were up 1.5 per cent in February.
Caisse unveils Montreal rail network plan
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has unveiled a plan to build an automated Montreal rail network with its own $3 billion investment together with $2.5 billion of funding from the federal and provincial governments.
The pension fund said it would be the third-largest automated rail network in the world which it expects to be a profitable venture. There was also talk of private real estate along the new route which could bring a further $5 billion of investment to the region.