TSX plunges as oil prices react to rising output
Iraq’s oil ministry triggered a 4 per cent drop in oil prices Monday as it reported December’s output from Basra hit a record high. Although the OPEC member said it would not affect the production cut introduced this month, the figures were enough to rattle the market.
The energy sector slumped to close 2.5 per cent lower and was joined by more modest losses for another 6 groups. Only consumer staples, materials and healthcare gained.
Wall Street’s three main indexes closed mixed with the Nasdaq closing higher while the S&P500 and Dow Jones fell. Europe’s markets were generally lower, except London; Asian markets were mixed.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 107.1 (0.69 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed down 76.42 (0.38 per cent)
Oil is trending lower (Brent $54.82, WTI $51.86 at 4.30pm)
Gold is trending higher (1181.90 at 4.30pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7559
Optimism returns to Canadian businesses
Canadian businesses believe that conditions are improving and they are intending to invest and grow their workforce.
A survey by the Bank of Canada shows that as the oil rout appears to have hit the bottom and has become more stable, businesses expect sales to increase in the next 12 months.
That has led to growing confidence in investing and employment, driven by demand including export opportunities.
Firms believe that credit is easy or relatively easy to obtain and credit conditions remain largely unchanged.
$492 million Honda investment for Ontario plant
Honda’s Alliston plant in Ontario is to get a $492 million investment, the auto maker said Monday.
The upgrade will allow the firm to add Civic and CR-V models to its Canadian-made portfolio and should protect the 4,000 jobs at the various manufacturing plants including a new paint shop.
Honda’s $400 million will be boosted by more than $41 million from both the federal and provincial governments.