TSX hits 3-week low, new hopes of oil output cuts
Manulife Financial fell more than 7 per cent Thursday as its Q4 results missed expectations and its outlook for 2016 was weakened. It was one of the largest drags on the Toronto Stock Exchange but oil and global growth were not far from investors’ thoughts either.
Crude prices were lower again despite comments made by the UAE’s energy minister suggesting OPEC may be about to consider production cuts. Although the news gave some hope for energy firms it is only the latest speculation of talks and may yet come to nothing.
The potential for talks did however help the Dow Jones recover almost half of its losses; Wall Street still ended the session sharply lower.
Asian markets closed lower in thin trade with only Sydney posting gains. In Europe all the major indexes closed with losses.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 98.35 (0.81 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed down 254.6 (1.60 per cent)
Oil is trending mixed (Brent up at $30.96, WTI down at $27.13 at 4.25pm)
Gold is trending higher (1248.40 at 4.25pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7178
Balanced budget looking unlikely
The chance of the federal government balancing the budget by 2019/20 is looking unlikely as things stand today; even the Prime Minister says so. In an interview with La Presse, Justin Trudeau acknowledges that if the economy continues to be under pressure then balancing the budget in the timeframe it set out before the election would be hard. He also acknowledged that the deficit for 2016/17 may be larger than the $10 billion the Liberals had expected.
TransCanada posts first loss
TransCanada reported Thursday that it made a loss in the fourth quarter of 2015, its first ever loss. The $2.5 billion loss resulted from writing off investments in the stalled Keystone XL pipeline and a drop in energy costs in Alberta. Had the company not has the $2.9 billion write-off then it would have posted better-than-expected results. TransCanada is suing the US government over its veto on the pipeline.
Canada has sold U$81 million of its gold coins in the last year
Figures from the Bank of Canada and the Finance Dept. show that Canada has sold around 81 per cent of its gold in the past year. There was more than $100 million in reserve at the start of 2015 but at the start of this month there was just $19 million. The sale has been mainly of gold coins according to the CBC.