TSX slips following BoC report
Canadian equities and the loonie declined Wednesday following the Bank of Canada’s interest rate announcement and the governor’s comments.
Stephen Poloz said that, while the interest rate was being held at 0.5 per cent this time, a cut could be required if the new US president’s policies realized downside risks to the Canadian economy, especially NAFTA.
The governor concluded that, although there may be challenges ahead, the current monetary policy remains appropriate for now.
Meanwhile, a stronger US dollar hit the Canadian currency and commodities with oil and gold dropping sharply. Energy and materials were the largest negatives on the main TSX index but seven of the ten groups were lower with healthcare the best performer of the session.
Wall Street’s indexes closed mixed with the Dow lower while the S&P500 and Nasdaq gained. European and Asian markets generally fared better.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 43.51 (0.28 per cent)
The Dow Jones closed down 22.12 (0.11 per cent)
Oil is trending lower (Brent $54.17, WTI $51.29 at 4.15pm)
Gold is trending lower (1204.30 at 4.15pm)
The loonie is valued at U$0.7541
NAFTA is a priority for the US says Trump aide
The North American Free Trade Agreement is a top priority for the new White House team, Trump’s commerce secretary said Wednesday.
Wilbur Ross is to urge the Canadian and Mexican governments to reopen talks to iron out areas that the new president sees as unfair practices. Those who “play fair” will get access to US markets while those who don’t will be “punished severely” Ross told the Globe and Mail.
He said that he is in favor of trade but not that which damages US workers or manufacturers.
EI holds steady
The number of Employment Insurance beneficiaries was little changed in November, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday.
There were 574,500 people regularly receiving EI with increases in Alberta (up 3.4 per cent), PEI (up 1.3 per cent) and Manitoba (up 1.2 per cent); decreases in Quebec (down 1.8 per cent) and Ontario (down 1.3 per cent); and no significant change elsewhere.