TSX higher on oil rise, interest rates held
Financial stocks got a boost Wednesday as the Bank of Canada opted to hold interest rates at 0.5 per cent. Meanwhile, energy stocks also gained as oil prices rose on expectation of a production freeze and a high draw of US gasoline suggesting stronger demand for crude.
The gains for oil led to a positive end to sessions on Wall Street and Europe but came too late for Asian markets where China’s weak trade date weighed.
Markets are awaiting Thursday’s meeting of the European Central Bank with expectation of further stimulus. That hit gold prices though which have been gaining recently.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 81.85 (0.61 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed up 36.26 (0.21 per cent)
Oil is trending higher (Brent $40.85, WTI $38.23 at 4.55pm)
Gold is trending lower (1253.60 at 4.55pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7545
Corus investors say yes to Shaw acquisition
Activist investor Catalyst Capital Group tried to derail Corus Entertainment’s acquisition of Shaw Media Wednesday but minority shareholders voted in favour. The deal was voted for by 100 per cent of Class A shareholders and 78.5 per cent of Class B. Both firms are controlled by the Shaw family. The deal should now go ahead but must be agreed by the regulator CRTC.
Crescent Points cuts dividend by 70 per cent
Energy firm Crescent Point is the latest from the sector to announce a cut to its dividend. From the April 15 payment to shareholders Crescent will pay just 3 cents per share, down 70 per cent. The Calgary company says that the cut in dividend should allow it to work with a $35 barrel price and its intended $950 million capital spending.
Bank complaints rise
The Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments said Wednesday that banking complaints rose 21 per cent in 2015 compared to the year before. There were 273 complaints, mostly involving mortgage prepayment penalties, customer service and account collections and closures. OBSI also handles complaints about investments, which declined 14 per cent to 298 cases.